The Houthis of Yemen have entered the Israel-Hamas battle, which is raging more than 1,000 miles from their capital of Sanaa. They said on Tuesday that they had launched missiles and drones towards Israel in assaults that underscore the conflict’s broader implications.
As part of an Iranian-backed “Axis of Resistance,” the Houthis have sided with the Palestinians ever since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, creating a new front in a movement that has been at war in the Gulf for eight years with a coalition led by Saudi Arabia.
In a live announcement, Yahya Saree, the military spokesperson for the Houthis, stated that the organisation had fired a “large number” of drones and ballistic missiles into Israel and that further strikes of this nature were planned “to help the Palestinians to victory”.
With Israel attempting to eliminate Hamas in its stronghold in the Gaza Strip, his comments underlined the expanding breadth of a confrontation that has unsettled governments, notably Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, and hardened worries of spillover.
Saree claimed that it was the Houthis’ third attack on Israel since the conflict began, seemingly confirming their involvement in a drone attack on October 28 that caused explosions in Egypt and which Israel blamed on the Houthis, as well as an incident on October 19 in which three cruise missiles were intercepted by the US navy.
When asked how Israel may react, Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi stated the Houthi strikes were reprehensible but did not go into further detail.
“Death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory to Islam” is the motto of the Houthis.
Axis of resistance
The “Axis of Resistance,” which opposes both Israel and the United States and has been launching strikes around the area since October 7, includes the Houthis as a powerful member.
Iran-supported Hezbollah in Lebanon and Israeli soldiers are trading gunfire near the border between the two countries, while Iraqi militants have been firing at American forces in both Syria and Iraq.
During the Yemeni conflict, the Houthis have attacked Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to showcase their missile and drone capabilities. Iran is accused by the coalition led by Saudi Arabia of equipping, training, and financing the Houthis. The organisation asserts that it creates its own weaponry and denies being an Iranian proxy.
In an effort to keep the Gaza war from getting worse, Israel’s principal backer, the United States, has sent aircraft carriers into the region. Iran has stated that it does not wish for the conflict to escalate.
However, Hossein Amirabdollahian, the foreign minister of Iran, hinted on Tuesday that Tehran’s allies would take more action.
Israel is responsible for the instability in the Middle East, according to Houthi spokesperson Saree, whose “continued crimes” are causing the “circle of conflict” in the area to widen. Attacks would be launched by the Houthis “until the Israeli aggression stops”.
Observing that Houthi drones and missiles had been shot down during the most recent clashes, Carnegie Middle East Center’s Mohanad Hage Ali stated that the strikes were now “more about messaging than a real military threat”.