Ansar Allah, the Yemeni Shiite jihadist terror organization known more commonly as the Houthis, took responsibility on Monday for a “large number of ballistic and cruise missiles” as well as drone attacks against the nation of Israel.
The Iranian state outlet Mehr News reported that a spokesman for the Houthis formally “declare[d] war” on the nation of Israel in support of the Sunni genocidal terrorist organization Hamas.
The Houthis are an Iran-backed terrorist organization that seized control of the capital of Yemen, Sana’a, in 2014 and ousted legitimate President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, triggering a civil war that remains ongoing, albeit in a ceasefire state, at press time. The group’s slogan is “Allahu akbar, death to the United States, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory for Islam.” Despite Ansar Allah’s direct ties to the world’s most prolific state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, and its stated goal of destroying America, the administration of leftist President Joe Biden removed the Houthis from the official U.S. government list of foreign terrorist organizations as one of his first acts in office in February 2021.
The formal declaration from the Houthis that they had begun a terror assault targeting Israel followed a report published in Bloomberg revealing that the Houthis had also started attacking Saudi Arabia directly again despite the ongoing truce, reportedly killing four Saudi soldiers.
Saudi Arabia is a Sunni Muslim state — a longtime rival of Houthi patrons Iran —and granted Hadi refuge when the Yemeni civil war began, making the country a prime target for Houthi terrorism. Prior to the current alleged truce, the Houthis repeatedly used drones and missiles to bomb Saudi targets across the border, preferring to attack oil facilities in an attempt to limit Saudi oil profits. In early 2022, Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia were so numerous that Riyadh warned the world it could not guarantee a steady supply of oil if the bombings continued.
In addition to delisting the Houthis, Biden also halted American offensive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, reportedly in response to the country’s killing of Islamist Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. Riyadh has reportedly entered talks with South Korea for military purchases.
Houthi spokesman General Yahya Saree issued the formal announcement of an attack on Israel from Yemen on Monday, stating that it was intended as a gesture of support for the “oppressed brothers in Palestine,” referring to the Sunni terrorist organization Hamas. Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel on October 7, killing more than 1,400, abducting about 250 others, and filming atrocities such as the desecration of corpses, the killing of entire families, and cheerful celebrations of death. Among the dead were a large number of children, left dead with knives in their bodies, and decapitated babies, as well as infants appearing to have been burned alive.
Israel has launched a military operation in Gaza, Hamas’s stronghold, to prevent a repeat of the October 7 attack.
“We launched a large number of ballistic and cruise missiles and a large number of drones at various targets of the Zionist enemy in the Palestine Occupied Territories,” Saree said, according to Iran’s Mehr News. “We emphasize that this operation is the third operation in support of our oppressed brothers in Palestine.”
“The position of our Yemeni people towards the cause of Palestine is fixed and principled, and the Palestinian people have the full right to defend themselves and use their full rights,” he claimed. “Our forces performed their duty in supporting Gaza and fired ballistic and cruise missiles at enemy targets in the Occupied Territories.”
Saree’s statement followed a statement from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirming that it had intercepted a missile apparently fired from the southeast and prompting missile alert sirens to go off in the city of Eilat.
“A surface-to-surface missile was fired towards Israeli territory from the Red Sea area and was successfully intercepted by the Arrow air defense system, even before it entered Israeli territory,” the IDF confirmed.
Houthi leaders began threatening attacks on Israel and the United States immediately after the Hamas attack.
“If the Americans directly intervened militarily, we would be ready to participate (against Israel), with missile and drone strikes and other military options,” Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi threatened.
On Monday, Bloomberg reported that the Houthis had already begun to attempt to attack Israel in the aftermath of the October 7 Hamas attack and had since targeted Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and Iran are longtime rivals who engaged in a high-profile reconciliation under the auspices of communist China in March. That peace may be jeopardized if the Houthis, using Iranian resources, begin to attack Saudi Arabia again.
“Saudi Arabia’s military has gone into a state of high alert following deadly clashes with Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who also tried to fire a missile over the kingdom toward Israel,” Bloomberg claimed, citing unknown “sources.” According to the outlet, the Houthi attacks killed four Saudi soldiers.
Bloomberg also claimed that contrary to its public position repeatedly condemning Israel for trying to protect itself from jihadist attacks, Saudi Arabia may have participated in intercepting Houthi missiles crossing into Saudi airspace on the way to Israel. The U.S. military claimed in a statement on October 19 that an American guided missile destroyer intercepted three land attack cruise missiles and a swarm of drones suspected to belong to the Houthis and apparently targeting Israel.
“We cannot say for certain what these missiles and drones were targeting, but they were launched from Yemen heading north along the Red Sea, potentially toward targets in Israel,” Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said.
Bloomberg on Monday claimed that Saudi Arabia also participated in intercepting that attack, defending Israel from Islamist violence, according to anonymous “people.”
“One of these missiles was intercepted by Saudi air defenses and fell inside the kingdom’s territory, according to the people,” it continued:
The US and Saudi Arabia had not previously disclosed Saudi involvement in stopping the attack. Protocols associated with a heightened state of readiness have been activated in all branches of the Saudi military following the Houthi missile launches, said one of the people.
Such an intervention is highly likely to inflame tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia — already increasing if the Houthi attacks on Saudi territory did happen — and antagonize Islamist groups in the Middle East looking to Saudi Arabia to oppose Israel.
The Iranian and Saudi Foreign Ministers engaged in a phone call on Tuesday, allegedly to coordinate opposition to Israel.
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement:
The two sides discussed the dangerous developments in the situation in Gaza and its surroundings and the importance of the international community in playing its role in achieving a ceasefire and protecting civilians in light of the escalating pace of military operations.
“Ceasefire” is a term used by opponents of Israel, meaning the prevention of any operations to respond to the October 7 Hamas massacres.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also held a meeting on Tuesday with the head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, currently sheltered in a luxury hotel in Doha, Qatar, to discuss how to “force the Zionist regime to end its atrocities against the Palestinian people,” meaning the ongoing operation against Hamas. Hamas regularly terrorizes Palestinian civilians, using them as human shields and preventing them from seeking refuge outside of Gaza.
Meanwhile, NewsNation reports:
The U.S. is deploying 300 additional troops to the Middle East, though the Pentagon said the service members will not be going to Israel.
Department of Defense press secretary Brigadier General Patrick Ryder announced the deployment in a press briefing but declined to comment on the specifics beyond saying the troops would not go to Israel.
Earlier Tuesday, Breitbart News also reported that the IDF has eliminated a number of Hamas commanders in recent days, including Naseem Abu Ajina — who played a key role in the Palestinian terror organization’s unprecedented assault on the Jewish state earlier this month.
צה"ל ושב"כ חיסלו את מפקד גדוד בית לאהיה של ארגון הטרור חמאס.— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) October 31, 2023
מטוסי קרב בהכוונת מידע מודיעיני של אמ"ן ושב״כ, חיסלו אמש את מפקד גדוד בית לאהיה בחטיבה הצפונית של חמאס, נסים אבו עג'ינה, אשר שילח את המתקפות הרצחניות של חמאס ב-7 באוקטובר לקיבוץ ארז ולמושב נתיב העשרה >> pic.twitter.com/xFXstgkSQS