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Amid calls for immediate US famine relief, or a cessation of US assistance to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, other experts say the military aid could be used as leverage to press for a political solution and more secure food delivery.
Condemnation has followed the missile strike on a funeral, which killed 140 people and crossed what some say are Yemen's red lines. But how hard the US might press Saudi Arabia remains to be seen.
Rising civilian casualties have stirred efforts in the UN and the US Congress to address Yemen's 'forgotten war.' But the path to real progress still lies with the parties to the conflict.
Such a shift has the potential to reshape the country’s regional profile – though it is unclear if would play a productive role or expand its proxy wars against Iran.
Recent attacks on Shiite Houthi targets in Yemen indicate that the Islamic State is trying to position itself as the Sunnis' protector. But it faces a crowded field.
The battle for central Yemen, which the Saudis are billing as part of their bid to contain Iran, is for some of their allies their first real taste of war.
The Saudi-backed government of President Hadi has a foothold now in Aden. It must provide Yemen's urgent needs and restore its legitimacy after sitting out months of war in exile.
The prospect of a big payday for its regional rival, Iran, is spurring Saudi Arabia to a quicker plan of action on Yemen and Syria, officials and analysts say.
A secure, stable and united Yemen anytime soon looks sadly unlikely.
The humanitarian crisis is deepening and the chances of a political solution soon seem very slim.
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