Al-Sharq al-Awsat is reporting that the Huthis and Yemeni security forces are clashing in the north. The fighting, which is being described as heavy, comes as Yemen has arrested more than 40 people for questioning, as the government attempts to locate the six remaining hostages.

This is a dangerous escalation, and we know from experience that as the conflict picks up speed and intensity it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain even the appearance of a cease-fire. What seems to be happening is that the Yemeni government is arresting a number of people for "questioning" but it seems unlikely that all of these individuals will be released immediately, which will in-turn force the Huthis and many of their tribes to take action as a way of ensuring their release, this will lead to more clashes - and the cycle will continue.

It appears as though the Yemeni government is looking to use the kidnappings as a way to continue its war in the north - not a particularly sound strategy, nor a very opaque one.

There is more commentary from myself and Murad Zafir on the kidnappings in this piece by Kelly McEvers from NPR's All Things Considered.