As the war grinds on in Yemen, nothing is getting easier to understand.
But as you probably know by now, this escalation is only the latest in a long, simmering line of fractures in the Gulf country. The Houthis' insurgency is nothing new, neither is the heavy influence of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, meddling from Saudi Arabia and Iran or drone strikes from the US.
All this, plus an intricate tribal system that forms the backbone of basically everything that happens in the country. And it just so happens that back backbone consist of a few hundred divisions of its own. Simple, right?
This week, Yemeni blogger Haykal Bafana mapped out some 229 distinct tribal and state lines making up the area of southern Yemen, plus parts of Oman and Saudi Arabia.
He notes: "These tribal borders (and indeed, even the sovereign state borders involved) are not cut in stone. Consider them fracture lines."
Bafrana also says Yemeni elections have essentially been put on permanent hold, so national control isn't likely to be solidified any time soon. These are the lines the could become the important ones.
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