Houthi leader: Yemeni forces will take part in any future conflict with Israel

Earlier last week, the leader of the Houthi insurgent group in Yemen, Abdul Malik Badreddin al Houthi, vowed to fight in any future conflict between Hezbollah and Israel. The group is officially known as Ansar Allah.

“The Yemeni nation is ready to take part in any future confrontation against the Israeli enemy,” Houthi said. He continued by saying that Israel should “take us into consideration in all future conflicts with Hezbollah and the Palestinian people.” Houthi also addressed Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in his statement, which was later republished on Hezbollah’s Al Manar website.

“Your bet on the Yemenis is proper. Israel must beware the Yemeni participation in any of its military confrontations with Hezbollah or the Palestinian resistance,” Houthi said to Nasrallah. In a speech last month, Nasrallah mentioned that in any future war with Israel, the Jewish state would be met with resistance by fighters from “Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.”

Both Hezbollah and Iran have been implicated in supporting the Houthi rebels in its campaign in Yemen.

In 2012, the US State Department formally accused Iran of supporting the Houthis. In its Country Reports on Terrorism 2012, State said that “Iran actively supported members of the Houthi tribe in northern Yemen, including activities intended to build military capabilities, which could pose a greater threat to security and stability in Yemen and the surrounding region.”

Iran and Hezbollah have provided training, money, and weaponry for over a decade, according to State. This support may be increasing according to a report released by Reuters earlier this year.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is believed to have transferred rocket and missile capabilities. In addition, the US military has intercepted several weapons shipments from Iran believed to have been headed to the Houthis. High-ranking Iranian officials have also spoke about the Iranian regime’s support for the Yemeni insurgents.

Ansar Allah is not thought to be directly subordinate to Tehran like Hezbollah or other proxies. However, support for the insurgent group offers Iran the ability to spread its influence across the Middle East. In addition, it allows Iran to both combat and challenge Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states’ troops and influence in Yemen.

Caleb Weiss is an intern at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a contributor to The Long War Journal.

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5 Comments

  • Douglas Morrow says:

    Despite their blustery rhetoric and inane 1980’s slogans, the Houthis will never be in a position to threaten Israel. As they are currently battling the powerful Saudi/GCC intervention in support of President Hadi, AQAP in the South, and numerous tribal chieftains whose allegiances shift like the Arabian sands, the Houthis have little capacity and based on their history, even less interest in projecting power beyond Yemen’s borders.

  • Lynn Farley says:

    This is the first time I am aware of Houthes challenging Israel as combatants. Why has this not been news in the US? Very distressing we are so ignorant of this.

    • Paul Cock says:

      Lyn Farley, everybody in the revolutionary Muslim camp say that they will attack Israel, it is a way to get sympathy in the Arab world. It is mostly hollow rhethoric.

  • TRM says:

    At which time Israel will hit Iran.

  • Louise RS says:

    I agree why has this not been news in the US?

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