15.01.2024 Author: Taut Bataut

Why are the UK and the USA waging war against Houthis in Yemen?

Why are the UK and the USA waging war against Houthis in Yemen?

Recently, the US and UK have attacked the Houthis in Yemen. The former countries hold that their attacks on Yemen were in response to the Houthi attacks on their ships in the Red Sea. According to US officials, they have attacked 16 sites in Yemen, targeting Houthi militants. On the other hand, the Houthis have announced that their response to these attacks will be beyond the expectations of their enemies.

The Houthis, also known as the Ansar ALLAH, have been already attacking ships and vessels of the Western nations heading toward Israel to help the latter in its genocidal operations in the Gaza enclave. The Houthis are known for their guerilla warfare and their resistance capabilities against their enemies. The Houthi militia was founded in the 1990s. They are mostly present in the Western parts of the country. The group was named after one of the founders and the then-religious leader of the group, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi. The group hailed from the Zaidi Shia group. Badreddin was considered the imam of this religious school of thought at that time. Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh sponsored this religious school. His rationale behind this school was to create a cohort of Shia fighters to fight aggression from the Salafi, a sect of Islam, government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These Houthi fighters have fought several wars against the Saudi forces throughout their history.

Badreddin, on his part, had other ideas. The school started to serve as a breeding ground for Shia fighters. The Houthis emerged as a group of hardliners among the Shia Zaidi community. The Houthi movement is known for its fighting capabilities and has always stood in the face of aggression against them. The Houthis were one of the few groups that militarily responded to the recent genocide of the people of Gaza by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The Houthis launched missile attacks against Israel soon after the latter’s indiscriminate bombing of the Gaza Strip.

The military spokesperson of the Houthi movement, Yahya Sarea, warned Israel and its allies against their war crimes in Gaza. He also asked the Western world to stop supporting Israel in its genocide in Gaza. The Western countries, especially the United States and the UK, have been consistently supplying arms and weapons to Israel to assist it in its war crimes in Gaza. In November 2023, US President Joe Biden pledged 14.3 billion worth of military assistance to Israel. The UK has also been providing military support to Israeli forces in this war. Moreover, some other Western nations have also been supporting Israel in its war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

In response to this criminal assistance by the West to Israel, the Houthi militia started targeting the ships and vessels heading towards Israel. According to the Houthi spokesperson, they are attacking the ships bound for Israel to help Palestinians facing oppression and aggression in the Gaza enclave. Reports demonstrate that the attacks of Ansar ALLAH have surged by 500 percent in the last two months of 2023. The Houthi leaders have demanded an end to the oppression of civilians in Gaza. However, in response to their attacks the Defense Secretary of the United States, Lloyd Austin, announced the creation of Operation Prosperity Guardian, a multinational mission, to protect ships in the Red Sea. However, a senior member of the Houthi movement, Abdulsalam, in his statement on X, emphasized that this coalition was aimed at securing the Israeli aggressors in Gaza. He further held that this would not halt Yemen from standing in support of Palestinians facing oppression in the enclave.

The Houthi militia continued to target ships, bound to Israel, in the Red Sea. Ultimately, the United States and the UK attacked different sites in Yemen, including Sanaa, to target the Houthis. This action has been highly criticized by the people around the world. These attacks were not even welcomed by many of the allies of the United States and the UK. France, Spain, and Italy did not take part in these attacks and have not even signed the joint statement issued by 10 countries to justify these attacks. All these three countries have provided different reasons for taking part in these attacks. These attacks are being as a start of expansion of the Israel-Hamas war, which had already been warned by many analysts and leaders. President Putin has requested an emergency UN meeting while condemning these attacks. The Houthis, in response to these attacks, have announced that no US aggression will go unpunished. Moreover, the Houthis have also warned the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia against providing their airspace to the US and the UK to attack Yemen. The Saudi government has also called for the de-escalation of the situation in the Red Sea. If the West continues to support Israel in its war crimes in Gaza, it could extend the war beyond the Middle East. War between the Houthis and the West could cause serious repercussions for the whole world, including inflations, and further wars between the global north and the global south.


Taut Bataut – is a researcher and writer that publishes on South Asian geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine  “New Eastern Outlook”.

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