Factional fights weaken Yemeni rulers
Many civilians forced into caves by artillery fire
In the rugged northern valley of Yemen, an ongoing conflict between Yemeni factions is siphoning away resources from a more significant war against Al Qaeda-linked militants in Yemen’s restive south. Even as the Obama administration steps us its efforts to weaken Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch, this Middle Eastern nation’s new U.S-backed president is facing a struggle for his own future. The contest for influence is playing out between loyalists of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his longtime opponents.