US launches more strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, but who is the group?
The Houthi movement, also known as Ansarallah (Supporters of God), emerged in the 1990s when its leader, Hussein al-Houthi, launched a religious revival movement called Zaidism, a centuries-old sub-sect of Shia Islam.
The Zaydis ruled Yemen for centuries, but were marginalized under the Sunni regime that came to power after the 1962 civil war. Al-Houthi's movement was founded to represent the Zaydis and to oppose radical Sunnism, especially Wahhabi ideas from Saudi Arabia. His closest followers became known as the Houthis.
Currently, the Houthis control most of Yemen and also part of Iran. “Axis of Resistance” – An anti-Israel and anti-Western coalition of regional militias backed by the Islamic Republic. with Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah In Lebanon, the Houthis are one of three main Iran-backed militias that have carried out attacks on Israel in recent weeks.
Attacks on the Red Sea: The Houthis have been targeting merchant ships in the Red Sea to inflict economic pain on Israel and its allies in response to the horrific scenes coming out of Gaza, and is believed to be an attempt to pressure Israel to end its bombardment.
The world economy continues to be painful reminders of the importance of this narrow strait that runs from the coast of Yemen through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait to the Suez Canal in northern Egypt – through which 12% of global trade flows, including 30% of global container traffic.
Many countries are taking steps to control Houthi aggression in the Red Sea region. Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution calling on Yemen's Houthi rebel group to end its offensive in the Red Sea.
A Houthi spokesman said they would continue the attacks “to prevent Israeli ships from sailing in the Arab and Red Seas bound for the ports of occupied Palestine.”
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