Leader of Yemen’s Houthis states willingness to support ‘Palestinian people’

In a newly released speech, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, the leader of Yemen’s Houthi movement, which calls itself Ansar Allah, stated his willingness to participate in fighting Israel “to support the Palestinian people.” 

Abdul Malik al-Houthi, who has already stated on multiple occasions that he would interject his men into a future major conflict between Israel, Hezbollah, and “the Palestinian people,’ reiterated such themes in his speech today. 

“The Al-Aqsa Flood operation,” al-Houthi states, referring to the name Hamas and its allies have referred to its invasion of Israel, “is a Palestinian decision that has full legitimacy, and the enemy and its allies were surprised by it.” 

Al-Houthi goes on to state that “the Yemeni people are thus ready to do everything they can to perform the sacred duty of standing with the Palestinian people.” In this regard, al-Houthi notes that “our people are ready to move in the hundreds of thousands to join the Palestinian people and confront the enemy.” 

Referring to similar statements put out by other groups in the so-called ‘Islamic Resistance,’ or group’s controlled, supported, or allied to Iran, al-Houthi notes that he is maintaining a “red-line” for this conflict. For instance, this line will be crossed “if the Americans intervene directly and militarily, then we are ready to participate even with missiles and drones.” 

The Houthi leader also called on various international organizations, such as the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, to support the so-called “Islamic Resistance” against Israel, otherwise such organizations are pursuing a “weak position.” According to al-Houthi, a “weak position” is akin to “loyalty to the Zionist entity.” 

Abdul Malik al-Houthi is now the latest in a string of Iranian-backed entities and individuals to support Hamas’ invasion of Israel and either call for outside mobilization in support of Hamas or threaten the United States. For example, he joins various Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq and Bahrain in issuing such messages. 

It is unclear how much weight, if any, al-Houthi’s threat carries. However, al-Houthi has firmly placed his movement under the wider ‘Islamic Resistance’ umbrella in recent years. He has also even raised money for Lebanese Hezbollah. 

In addition to previously saying he would deploy his forces against Israel in the event of a major conflict, other ‘Islamic Resistance’ groups, including Hamas itself, have also spoken of closing ranks with the Houthis against Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. 

Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and Lebanese Hezbollah have also been reported present alongside Houthi fighters.

Joe Truzman is an editor and 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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