How Houthis Entering The Arena Could Affect The Israel-Hamas War
A brutal violence has been engulfing Israel and the Gaza Strip for more than a month. In the meantime, Yemen’s Houthi movement has also launched missiles and drones at Israel, sparking fears of a dangerous escalation of the Middle East conflict.
With the militia vowing further attacks, Israel countered by sending missile boats to the Red Sea. They join the US warships already deployed in the area. Mahad Darar, a Yemeni politics expert at Colorado State University, has shone a light on the Houthis’ involvement in the war.
A Brief Insight Into The Houthi Movement
Yemen’s Houthi group is an armed militia of the Zaydi Shia sect. They ousted the nation’s transitional government in a coup in 2014 and have since been fighting a bloody civil war with the internationally recognised ousted administration, backed by Saudi Arabia.
Although it may seem like the Houthis are acting as an Iranian proxy, the main reason the group launched an attack on Israel could be to gain domestic support. The Houthi leadership may be trying to present the militia as the dominant force in Yemen willing to challenge Israel.
This approach helps the Houthis unite the Yemeni public behind the cause of Palestinian liberation, while setting themselves apart from Arab governments that have so far been unwilling to take strong action against Israel amid apparent growing public discontent.
How Houthis Could Affect Israel-Hamas War
Some analysts have suggested that the Houthis’ entry into the battle arena risks overwhelming Israel’s defence systems, if it forms part of a coordinated effort involving Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. But this ideas falls short for a couple of reasons.
First, the threat from the Houthis towards Israel is far smaller than both Hamas and Hezbollah – and the ongoing civil war in Yemen poses a more immediate threat. Second, the imprecision of the Houthi missiles means any attack also poses a risk to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other nations.