Friday 12 January 2024

What are the Houthis, and how did the US and UK launch their strikes in Yemen?

 

What are the Houthis, and how did the US and UK launch their strikes in Yemen?

Strikes against Houthi sites in western Yemen have been initiated by the US and UK.

Gapteks.com - According to US sources, the US and the UK have conducted airstrikes on over a dozen locations in Yemen that are utilized by the Houthis, who are supported by Iran. Here is more information on the strikes.

Following Israel's assault in Gaza, the Houthis launched a relentless campaign of drone and missile attacks against commercial ships in the Red Sea. These strikes represent the most major military reaction to this campaign. This is how we get here:

 

The Houthis are who?

The Houthis are a Yemeni militia that belong to the Zaidi branch of Shia Islam and are called after its founder, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi. They first appeared in the 1980s as a counter to Yemen's religious influence from Saudi Arabia. With an estimated 20,000 militants, the organization, officially known as Ansar Allah, controls the most of the country's western region and the coastline that faces the Red Sea.

 

What connection does the organization have to the Gaza War and Iran?

As part of its long-standing animosity toward Saudi Arabia, Iran backs the Houthis, who aid Hamas in the Gaza conflict. Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, the commander of the Houthis, declared his men were "ready to move in the hundreds of thousands to join the Palestinian people and confront the enemy" shortly after the Hamas massacre on October 7.

 

What is going on in the Red Sea?

Located south of the Suez Canal, the main waterway linking Europe with Asia and east Africa, is the Red Sea, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Yemen is located where the sea meets the Gulf of Aden, on its southeast coast.

The Houthis launched missile and drone strikes against ships in the Red Sea shortly after the Gaza War broke out, the majority of which were thwarted by Israeli and American countermeasures.

On November 19, the situation worsened when terrorists hijacked a vehicle carrier that was rented by a Japanese company and associated with an Israeli businessman, taking the crew hostage with the help of a helicopter. All vessels that the Houthis believed to be connected to Israel or its backers would "become a legitimate target for armed forces," they said.

Although there were several attempts to overtake ships, most of them were unsuccessful, many shipping firms chose to take a longer and more expensive detour around South Africa's Cape of Good Hope instead of using the Red Sea route, which resulted in longer travel times.

 

What response did the US give?

In reaction to the Houthi strikes, the US said on December 18 that Operation Prosperity Guardian had been formed.

Up until December 31, when US Navy helicopters opened fire on a group of small boats trying to board a cargo ship that had asked for their protection, the US avoided direct conflict. The deaths of 10 militants signaled a new chapter in the situation.

 

Operation Prosperity Guardian, a coalition in the Red Sea headed by the US

In what London referred to as the worst strike of its kind in the region, US and British warships shot down 21 drones and missiles fired by the Houthis on January 9. The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, stated on January 10 that more strikes may lead to a military reaction from the west.

 

What was going on in Yemen before to the conflict in Gaza?

Around the turn of the century, the Houthis began to garner support among Shia Yemenis who were tired of Ali Abdullah Saleh, their longstanding dictator and Saudi friend, for his cruelty and corruption. This was especially true in the wake of 9/11 and the US invasion of Iraq. Saleh was forced to step down in 2012 due to widespread demonstrations and many murder attempts.

After forming an alliance with Saleh, their erstwhile adversary, the Houthis took control of Sana'a in 2014 and removed Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the newly installed president supported by the West, a year later. Following Hadi's forced retreat, the exiled Yemeni government requested that its allies in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates begin a military campaign to expel the Houthis, a move that would also be supported by the west.

Thereafter, a disastrous civil war broke out, which the UN predicted would result in 4 million people being displaced and 377,000 deaths by the end of 2021.

Indeed, the conflict was won by the Houthis. Violence significantly decreased after a ceasefire in April 2022, and fighting has mostly stopped even though the truce officially ended in October.

 

How were the Houthi strikes perceived in Saudi Arabia and Yemen?

Analysts claim that the Houthis' engagement has strengthened their popularity at home, and some Yemenis view the Houthi actions as a justifiable way to put pressure on Israel and its supporters in favor of Palestinian people. Despite the existence of an internationally recognized government in the country's south, the militants feel that strikes in the Red Sea may elevate them to a more prominent position on the world stage and establish them as synonymous with Yemen as a whole.

In the meantime, the Saudis are working to complete a peace agreement that may acknowledge Houthi sovereignty over the northern region of Yemen and normalize relations with Iran. They have been concerned about any US response that may make their attempt to leave the nation more difficult.

 

Well, 2023 didn’t quite go to plan, did it?

Here in the UK, the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, had promised us a government of stability and competence – not forgetting professionalism, honesty and accountability – following the rollercoaster ride of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. Do you recall Liz? She appears to be a long-gone comic act these days. Rather, Sunak descended even more into the Conservative psychodrama through the looking-glass.

There have been no better pictures anywhere. Donald Trump is currently a lot of people's favorite to win the US presidency once more. The conflict in Ukraine has continued with little sign of resolution. It's all too easy to see how the rest of the world may become weary of the fight and lose interest. In addition, there is the Middle East conflict and the climatic catastrophe.

But optimism is renewed with a new year. Numerous nations, including the US and the UK, are holding elections. We must have hope for change. that a better solution is achievable. The Guardian will keep reporting on happenings worldwide because it feels particularly vital right now. However, maintaining a news collecting organization is not inexpensive.

Thus, if you are able to, I kindly ask that you donate money this year. Well, you may if you'd like, but not directly to me. Instead, address the Guardian. We can keep up our goal to seek the truth wherever it may be found by contributing as little as $2 a month to The Guardian.

 

We can make our journalism freely available to anyone with your assistance. None of our commentary articles or news items are ever hidden behind a paywall. This wouldn't be possible without you. We mean it when we say we're in this together, unlike our politicians.


Source: theguardian.com

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