The Gaza Crisis: US Strikes on Houthis and Israel-Hamas Conflict

Understanding the Houthi Movement and Their Attacks on the Red Sea

Understanding the Houthi Movement and Their Attacks on the Red Sea

Houthi forces boarding a cargo ship
This photo shows Houthi forces boarding the cargo ship Galaxy Leader on November 19, 2023.

Who are the Houthi Group?

The US has recently conducted strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, but it is essential to understand who this group is.

The Houthi Movement: An Introduction

The Houthi movement, also known as Ansarallah (Supporters of God), originated in the 1990s under the leadership of Hussein al-Houthi. It emerged as a religious revival movement for Zaidism, a subsect of Shia Islam with a history dating back centuries.

Resisting Radical Sunnism

During the 1962 civil war, the Zaidis, who ruled Yemen for centuries, were marginalized under the new Sunni regime. To represent the Zaidis and resist radical Sunnism, particularly Wahhabi ideas from Saudi Arabia, Hussein al-Houthi founded the movement, and his closest followers became known as Houthis.

The Houthis and Iran’s “Axis of Resistance”

The Houthis currently control significant parts of Yemen and are part of Iran’s “Axis of Resistance”. This alliance, backed by the Islamic Republic, opposes Israel and the West. Alongside Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis are a prominent Iran-backed militia that has recently launched attacks on Israel.

The Red Sea Attacks

One of the Houthis’ strategies in response to the situation in Gaza has been targeting commercial vessels in the Red Sea. These attacks aim to inflict economic pain on Israel and its allies and potentially pressure Israel to cease its actions.

The Importance of the Red Sea

The Red Sea is a crucial waterway that connects the Bab-el-Mandeb straits off the Yemeni coast to the Suez Canal in Egypt. It accounts for 12% of global trade and 30% of global container traffic, making it vital to the global economy.

International Response

Several countries have taken measures to address the Houthi aggression in the Red Sea region. The United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution urging Yemen’s Houthi rebel group to end its attacks in the Red Sea.

The Houthi Stance

A spokesperson for the Houthis has stated their intention to continue these attacks to prevent Israeli ships from navigating the Arab and Red Seas on their way to the occupied ports of Palestine.

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Read More of this Story at – 2024-01-13 19:32:00

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