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The Editors

Al-Qaeda Wins If Yemen Falls Apart

The U.S. can't afford to let Yemen slip into civil war and sectarian strife.
It can't go on like this.

It can't go on like this.

Photographer: Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images

Yemen teeters on the brink of economic collapse and civil war. After being held captive for three weeks by Houthi rebels, President Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi has escaped from Sana'a, the capital, to Aden, in the country's south, where he is rallying support to restore his government. If his country now splits, or falls into sectarian strife, the clear winner will be al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which thrives amid chaos in Yemen.

This al-Qaeda offshoot poses one of the most dangerous terrorism threats, and the U.S. needs to do all it can to promote stability. That means averting a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran and supporting President Hadi's elected government, at least until a process for a political transition can be agreed on.