In 2014, after several weeks of street protests against the Hadi government and its unpopular decision to cut fuel subsidies, the Houthis clashed with the Yemeni military. In a battle that lasted only a few days, Houthi fighters seized control of Sana'a, the Yemeni capital, on September 21, 2014. The Houthis then forced Hadi to negotiate an agreement that would end the violence.
In January 2015, dissatisfied with a draft government constitution, Houthi fighters occupied the presidential palace, leading to the resignation of the president and his ministers. The Houthis' political leadership announced the dissolution of parliament and on February 6, 2015, established the High Revolutionary Committee to govern the country.
On February 21, 2015, after having been under house arrest for a month, Hadi managed to escape to his hometown of Aden. From this southern coastal city, which he declared a temporary capital, Hadi declared in a televised speech that the Houthis' seizure of power was illegitimate and that he was still the country's constitutional president (although his mandate had officially expired in January 2015).
On March 21, 2015, the High Revolutionary Committee called for a general mobilization to overthrow the exiled Hadi government in Aden and extend Houthi control over the southern part of the country. The next day, the Houthis, along with forces loyal to ex-President Saleh - who openly associated with the Houthis - launched a military offensive. A few days later they had reached the outskirts of Aden. Hadi fled the country on March 25, calling on "the international community" to "protect Yemen from Houthi aggression."
March 26, an Arab military coalition led by Saudi Arabia (consisting of the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and Sudan) launched an aerial bombing campaign against the Houthis and to restore the Hadi government. The Saudis regarded the Houthis as pawns of their great regional rival Iran. The conflict in Yemen is therefore seen by some observers as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. From the outset, America provided logistical, tactical and intelligence support for the Saudi bombings. The United Kingdom (UK) also actively supported the pro-Hadi coalition with arms supplies and intelligence.