For years the United States has relied on Yemen’s strongman President Ali Abdullah Saleh to fight al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
It’s this group that Washington says poses the biggest threat to its security.
But for months Yemen has been the scene of widespread unrest and Mr Saleh the subject of protests against his leadership.
Mr Saleh warns that if he goes the country would fall into the hands of extremists.
It’s warnings like these that feed into the very fear that has shaped US policy in Yemen.
For Assignment, Natalia Antelava reports from the capital Sana'a on the people who are calling for change and asks if America’s counter terrorism policy has contributed to the unrest?