Yemen’s Houthis Join Israel-Hamas War, Fire ‘Large Number’ Of Missiles Towards Israel: Report

The Houthis of Yemen, part of Iran-backed “Axis of Resistance”, have declared that they have joined the Israel-Hamas war, launching a “large number of” missiles and drones towards Israel Tuesday, news agency Reuters reported. The Houthis have since the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas voiced support for Palestinians.         

In a televised statement, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said the group had fired a large number of ballistic missiles, and drones too, towards Israel, warning of more such attacks “to help the Palestinians to victory”, the Reuters report said.

Quoting Saree, the report said this was the third attack by the Houthis on Israel since the beginning of the war. An October 28 drone attack, which resulted in blasts in Egypt, now appears to be this group’s handiwork indeed as alleged by Israel. On October 19, the US Navy had intercepted three cruise missiles, and the Houthis could be behind that incident too, the report said.

Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s National Security Adviser, was quoted as saying that the Houthi attacks were intolerable, though he did on elaborate how Israel might respond to this.

With Saree’s statement, it now appears that the scope of the conflict is widening in the region. Israel has declared that it would destroy Hamas in Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the outfit’s political wing. There are fears the war will have a spillover effect on the region.

Stating that the Houthi attacks would continue “until the Israeli aggression stops”, Saree blamed Israel for the instability in the Middle East, and said the its “continued crimes” was expanding the “circle of conflict”, the report said.

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Who Are Houthis?

The Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah (Partisans of God), are a faction within the Zaydi branch of Shi’a Islam, primarily based in northern Yemen. This sect is a minority within both the Yemeni context and the broader Islamic world, differing in beliefs from other Shi’a groups like those in Iran and Iraq. The movement, which took its name from a leader in the Houthi family, originated in the 1990s with the aim of reviving Zaydi traditions. 

The Houthis are now part of the Iran-backed “Axis of Resistance”, which is against Israel and also the United States. They are reported to have been launching attacks across the region ever since the Israel-Hamas war started.

The group has in the past shown its capabilities with missile and drone operations during the Yemen war, against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The group, however, denies being Iran’s proxy, claiming it develops its own weapons, though the Saudi-led coalition accuses Iran of funding the Houthis and also arming and training them. 

Iran has said it does not want the conflict to spread, though its Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian Tuesday indicated otherwise. “Resistance groups will not remain silent in the face of the Zionist regime’s crimes and America’s full support for the Zionist regime,” the Reuters report quoted him as saying at a meeting with the Emir of Qatar, citing Iranian state media reports. “They won’t wait for anyone’s advice; if the situation gets out of control, no party will be safe from its consequences.” 

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ABP News Bureau

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