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Yemen's Houthi Rebels: What Do They Want?

The Shiite rebels who stormed Yemen's presidential palace are known as Houthis. What do they want from the government?

By Elizabeth Hagedorn | January 21, 2015

Who are the Houthis, and what do they want? (Video via CNN, Al Jazeera)

Yemen's Houthis practice an offshoot of Shiite Islam called Zaydism. The rebels' slogan is: "Death to Israel. Death to America." (Video via Middle East Eye

They're in the minority in Yemen. Most of the country practices Sunni Islam.

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The Houthis are named after this man: Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, who died in 2004. (Video via YouTube / Imam Mahdi

His followers complain of discrimination from Yemen's Sunni-controlled government. But the government accuses the Houthis of plotting a takeover of the country. (Video via RT

The conflict gets more complex. Many view the Houthi insurgency as a proxy war between Yemen's neighbors. Sunni Saudi Arabia accuses Shiite Iran of training and funding the Houthis. In September, the Houthis took over the capital city of Sanaa ...

... dealing a major blow to U.S.-backed President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Now Houthi militants have seized his residence. (Video via Embassy of Yemen in D.C.

Soon after, the rebel leader, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, went on TV with a list of demands. Basically, he wants Yemen to give the Houthis a greater voice in the government. (Video via BBC

The standoff appears to be over. On Wednesday, the president agreed to amend the constitution to grant the Houthis more political power. (Video via Al Jazeera

This video includes an image from Getty Images and music from Scott Wilson & Efendi / "Drum Solo / Bayolunda" / CC BY NC ND 3.0.

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