The Shia insurgency in Yemen, also known as the Houthi rebellion, Sa'dah War or Sa'dah conflict is a civil war in northern Yemen. It began in June 2004 when dissident cleric Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, head of the Zaidi Shia sect, launched an uprising against the Yemeni government. Most of the fighting has taken place in Sa'dah Governorate in northwestern Yemen although some of the fighting spread to neighbouring governorates Hajjah, 'Amran, al-Jawf and the Saudi province of Jizan.
The Yemeni government alleged that the Houthis were seeking to overthrow it and to implement Shi‘a religious law. The rebels counter that they are "defending their community against discrimination" and government aggression. The Yemeni government has accused Iran of directing and financing the insurgency.
In August 2009, the Yemeni army launched a fresh offensive against the Houthis in the northern Sa'ada province. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced by the fighting. The conflict took on an international dimension on 4 November 2009 as clashes broke out between the northern rebels and Saudi security forces along the two countries' common border and Saudis launched an anti-Houthi offensive. The rebels accuse Saudi Arabia of supporting the Yemeni government in attacks against them. The Saudi government denied this. Houthi leaders claim that United States involvement in the war started on 14 December 2009 when the US launched 28 air raids.
General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar commanded the Yemeni security forces during the conflict and led all the government offensives from 2004 until 2011, when he resigned his post to defend protesters during the Yemeni Revolution.
On 20 January 2015 the rebels attacked the president's residence and swept into the presidential palace. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was inside the residence as it came under "heavy shelling" for a half-hour, but he was unharmed and protected by guards, according to Information Minister Nadia al-Sakkaf. Presidential guards surrendered the residence after being assured that Hadi could safely evacuate. The U.N. Security Council called an emergency meeting about the unfolding events. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon expressed concern over the "deteriorating situation" in Yemen and urged all sides to cease hostilities.