The Israel Defense Forces intercepted a missile and two drones over the Red Sea that were fired by Ansar Allah, the Iran-backed group in Yemen more commonly known as the Houthis, earlier today. The attack marked the third by the Houthis that has targeted Israel, and the terror group has threatened more as Israel pushes its ground offensive into Gaza.

The missiles and two drones were launched from the “Red Sea area” and shot down “outside the territory of the State of Israel,” the IDF said, according to The Times of Israel. The Houthi missile was shot down with the Arrow air defense system, while Israel Air Force fighters downed the two Houthi drones.

The Houthi attack on Israel is the third since Oct. 19. On that date, a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer downed several missiles and drones over the Red Sea fired by the Houthis. On Oct. 27, the Houthis launched two drones towards Israel, but one crashed into a building in the Egyptian town of Taba, and the other was intercepted and crashed in the Egyptian Hezbollah, Reuters reported.

The Houthis, on their official website, confirmed “that this operation is the third operation In
support of our oppressed brothers in Palestine,” and threatened further attacks.

“We will continue to carry out more qualitative strikes with missiles and drones until the Israeli aggression stops,” the Houthis stated.

The Houthis are an Iranian ally which formed in the 1990s to oppose the Yemeni government. Over time, the IRGC co-opted the Houthi movement, and has provided the group with weapons, training and financial support. The Trump administration listed the Houthis as a Foreign Terror Organization in Jan. 2021, but President Biden revoked the designation just weeks after he entered office. However, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, the group’s overall leader, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim remain listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

The Houthis control nearly all of northern Yemen, including the capital of Sana’a, possess advanced weapons such as ballistic and cruise missiles, and is estimated to have 100,000 fighters under arms. The official motto of the Houthis is: “God is great, death to the U.S., death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam.”

Iran is leveraging its network of militias in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon to put pressure on Israel as well as the U.S. The Houthis, as well as the Iraqi and Syrian militias which number in the hundreds of thousands, can serve as a strategic reserve and a force multiplier as the war on Israel’s northern border heats up. These militias are battle-hardened by years of fighting the U.S. in Iraq as well as against Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Source » longwarjournal