When I arrived there in March, the journey from the city's outskirts to its center should have taken only 10 minutes; instead, it took us four hours, as we wound our way through mountainous roads and dozens of checkpoints manned by teenagers with AK-47 assault rifles.
Crowds of people cheered us on as our Land Cruisers navigated trash, burned-out cars, and rubble after passing through the last checkpoint. It felt oddly like being a rock star, except I was entering a city embroiled in armed conflict instead of a concert hall.
Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East; since early 2015, its people have been caught up in fighting between forces loyal to the internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and members of an armed group known as the Houthis. A Saudi-led coalition of mostly Arab states, which has received logistical and intelligence support from France, Britain, and the United States, has also been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis since 2015 and has blockaded the import of supplies into the country.