It has been more than four years since a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched a ferocious air campaign against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The effect has been devastating. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and as many as 85,000 children may have starved to death.

But there are two things going on right now which may have the potential to change that war.

One is the increased ability of the Houthis to hit back. On Thursday, they claimed two major attacks against Saudi-Emirati backed forces.

More significantly in the long term, is the UAE's decision to reduce its military presence in Yemen.

The move started a few weeks ago and, for the first time in six years, Emirati officials met an Iranian delegation in Tehran.

They signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation on maritime border security. But the meeting in itself was a significant step.

What now lies ahead for the coalition? And is there any room for diplomacy?

Presenter: Kamahl Santamaria

Guests:

Simon Mabon - senior lecturer in international relations at Lancaster University

Hussain al Bukhaiti - a pro-Houthi journalist and Yemen affairs specialist

Rami Khouri - senior public policy fellow at the American University of Beirut

Source: Al Jazeera News