With Salih dead and UAE-backed forces attacking Aden, Yemen is ungovernable. The harder Saudi Arabia pushes for military victory, the more it jeopardizes a settlement. 

On 2 December 2017, long-time strongman and former president Ali Abd Allah Salih abandoned his Houthi allies and called for reconciliation with Saudi Arabia. Two days later he was dead (MEES, 8 December 2017).

With Mr Salih and his massive patronage network on its side, Saudi Arabia would have looked to form a...