Hezbollah’s Nasrallah meets with Houthi leadership

Over the weekend, Hezbollah media sources released a photo of a meeting between its Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and Yemen’s Houthi leadership. The Houthis are engaged in a multi-year insurgency against Yemen’s internationally-recognized government, which is backed by a coalition of Gulf countries.

Houthi spokesman Mohamad Abdelsalam led the delegation. Abdelsalam previously represented the Houthis in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran in Feb. 2018.

Two other Houthi leaders, Abdul Malik Al Ajri and Ibrahim Al Daylami, were present at the meeting and included in the photo. The meeting reportedly occurred in Beirut, Lebanon.

The meeting demonstrates Hezbollah’s growing regional role, as well as the prominence of the Houthis as an Iranian proxy.

The Saudi-led coalition regularly presents evidence that Hezbollah directly supports the Houthis. In Feb. 2016, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya released a video of a Hezbollah commander training Houthi militants the summer prior. Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States posted clips of the video on his Twitter last Thursday. The Saudi-led coalition has also announced Hezbollah casualties in Yemen: it announced the death of ten Hezbollah experts deployed to support Houthi militants in two separate incidents this summer.

Alexandra Gutowski is the senior military affairs analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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