Yemen the Houthi rebels, who govern the Yemeni capital Sana’a, have joined the conflict between Israel and Hamas, over a thousand miles away. They announced on October 31 that they have carried out drone and missile attacks on Israel, posing regional threats due to the conflict.
Some details about the group:
In the late 1990s, in northern Yemen, the Houthi family began a religious revival movement for the Zaidi sect of Shia Islam, which was never in control of Yemen but had become marginalized and impoverished in the northern region.
As tensions grew with the government, the Houthis engaged in a series of guerrilla warfare with the national army and a brief border conflict with the Sunni powerhouse, Saudi Arabia.
HOUTHI ATTACKS ON ISRAEL
Yahya Saree, the spokesperson for the Houthi forces, stated in a televised address that on October 31, the group launched “a large number” of ballistic missiles and drones toward Israel, intending to aid the Palestinians’ cause of liberation. They confirmed three attacks on Israel, indicating their involvement in the drone attack on October 28, leading to explosions in Egypt, blamed by Israel on the Houthis, and an incident on October 19, where the U.S. Navy intercepted three cruise missiles.
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE ATTACKS?
As part of Iran-backed “Axis of Resistance,” aligned with Hamas, the Houthis stand in support of the Palestinians after attacks on Israel. Saree accuses Israel of contributing to instability in the Middle East through its “continuous crimes,” causing a widening circle of conflicts in the region. “The Houthi slogan is “Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, and Victory to Islam.”
LINKS WITH IRAN
During the Yemen conflict, the Houthis exhibited their missile and drone capabilities by targeting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ installations and critical infrastructure. Saudi-led coalition accuses Iran of arming, training, and financially aiding the Houthis. The group denies being an Iranian proxy and claims to independently develop its own arsenal.