Houthis Warn Israel, Touts Military Training

Yemen’s Houthi movement (also known as Ansarallah) recently published a military training video warning Israel of a potential response by the Iran-backed group if conflict with the Palestinians or Hezbollah were to erupt.

The publication shows Houthi militants performing various training exercises including hand-to-hand combat and weapons training on targets resembling the flag of Israel.

The publication included a threat subtitled in Hebrew warning Israel that it needed to consider the Yemeni people before it involved itself in any future confrontation with Hezbollah or the Palestinians.

Although not as impressive, the video is a near carbon copy of several publications by Hezbollah’s Radwan Force which were disseminated online over the last two years.

The video offers some insight into the influence Hezbollah has within the ranks of the Houthi movement which should not come as a surprise due to the numerous reports of Hezbollah’s direct involvement in the Yemen conflict.

As a member of the Resistance Axis, the Houthis oppose Israel and regularly call for its destruction. They have also accused Israel of participating in the Yemen conflict since it began in 2015.

In 2019, Houthi Defense Minister Mohammed al-Atefi stated that the group had the ability to strike Israel, saying it had a “bank of military and maritime targets of the Zionist enemy” ready to be targeted when given the order.

Despite the recent threatening video and past warnings of an attack from Yemen, there is no clear evidence demonstrating the Houthis having attempted to launch a military operation against Israel.

Such an attack would likely bring about a broad response by the Israeli military compared to other recent high-profile attacks targeting regional allies such as the UAE. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report: Houthis Renew Attack on Abu Dhabi With Ballistic Missiles.]

Up to now, the Houthis have demonstrated they prefer to stick to publishing violent rhetoric that imitates more established groups such as Hezbollah over carrying out threats against Israel.

Joe Truzman is a senior research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian armed groups and non-state actors in the Middle East.

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