ANALYSIS: Yemenite Terror Group Now Poses a Threat to Israel and the Region

Ansar Allah, also known as the Houthis, just demonstrated that it can attack Israel at any time

By Yochanan Visser | | Topics: Iran, Yemen, Houthi
They might look primitive, but Yemen's Houthi militia is being provided advanced and long-range weapons by Iran.
They might look primitive, but Yemen's Houthi militia is being provided advanced and long-range weapons by Iran. Photo: EPA-EFE/YAHYA ARHAB

The Ansar Allah or Houthi militia in Yemen is increasingly becoming a regional problem in the Middle East and also poses a threat to Israel, as we shall see.

The militia is supported and armed in all forms by Iran, which this week showed that it sees the rapprochement between Israel and some Arab Gulf states as a threat to the Islamic Republic’s imperialist plans.

After Ansar Allah attacked or hijacked several ships in the Persian Gulf in the last month and continued with routine ballistic missile and unmanned kamikaze attacks on Saudi Arabia, it was now the United Arab Emirates that was being terrorized.

 

Sophisticated weapons supplied by Iran

Last Monday, January 17, Ansar Allah launched a major organized attack on targets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Israel’s new Arab peace partner.

A number of Iran-supplied Shahed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) took part in the attack on Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. The Shahed is a long-range UAV that even can reach Israel, which is 2,000 kilometers away from Yemen.

The Ansar Allah militia also used Iranian-supplied cruise missiles and ballistic missiles against the UAE and attacked targets that highlighted the Arab country’s vulnerability.

For example, a new wing of the airport near Abu Dhabi was attacked. The wing had not yet been completed, so the fire that broke out afterward caused only material damage.

Authorities in the UAE reported three people dead and six injured when three fuel tankers exploded in the industrial area of the port city of Musaffa. This city is of great economic importance to the UAE and has many oil storage depots.

 

Link to Iran

The attack on the UAE was seen by most observers as a response to a recent bloody UAE offensive against the Ansar Allah militia in Yemen.

However, Iran, which is behind the increasing strength of the militia, also appeared to be warning the UAE government against increasing cooperation with Israel in the military and intelligence sphere.

Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was one of the first to link the attack on the UAE to the increasing Iranian aggression in the Middle East. The prime minister condemned the “terrorist attacks carried out by the Iranian-backed Houthis” and made it clear that Israel stands squarely behind the UAE and its leader Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

Israel’s Channel 13 TV reporter Or Heller later revealed that the Israeli army was “studying the details of the Ansar Allah attack on the UAE.”

Heller had, furthermore, received information that such an attack could also be launched against Israel soon and that the IRGC had overseen the attack.

The UAE now wants to purchase more Israeli Skylock counter-drone systems to counter the increasing Ansar Allah threat against the country.

The oil-rich emirate had already purchased one Skylock system that has been designed for the detection, verification and neutralization of enemy drones.

“Due to the incident that happened this week, they are now asking us what we can supply them with as soon as possible out of a long list of systems,” Itzik Huber, CEO of Skylock Systems, told The Media Line.

The Skylock system has already been sold to 31 countries, among them Morocco, and detects incoming drones from a distance of more than 20 kilometers.

 

Tasnim News reveals details about the attack

In Iran itself, the regime-controlled news site Tasnim News has been very candid about the strategic goals of the attack on the UAE and linked it to the “Zionist entity.”

The UAE’s economic facilities and massive foreign investment in the wealthy Arab country have been the “Achilles heel” of the Gulf state, Tasnim News reported.

The Iranian news site went on to say that the UAE had given “the Zionists” access to islands claimed by Yemen.

This assertion comes from the regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that already claimed in 2019 that Israel had a military presence on the island of Socotra and other islands near Yemen.

 

Mossad present in UAE, Bahrain and Azerbaijan

Israel, of course, denies having a military presence on Socrota and the other islands, but it could be that the Mossad, Israel’s foreign secret service, is operating from there against Iran.

The Mossad is also present in Bahrain and Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is bordering Iran and the Persian Gulf, and Bahrain is located opposite the strategically important port city of Bandar Abbas.

Ex-Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen was the main Israeli architect of the so-called Abraham Accords with the UAE and Bahrain.

Cohen often traveled secretly to these Gulf countries to lay the groundwork for peace with Israel and the current military and intelligence cooperation between the two Gulf States and Israel.

 

Saudi Arabia releases evidence about Iranian involvement

Iran of course officially denies having anything to do with the Ansar Allah militia and being behind its continued attacks on Saudi Arabia, as well as the attack on the UAE.

However, Turki al-Maliki, a military spokesman for the Arab coalition against Ansar Allah, proved through a number of videos that members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah are present in Yemen’s capital Sanaa.

The UAE is a prominent member of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition and has recorded a number of victories over Ansar Allah recently.

Al-Maliki showed reporters a video with images of Hezbollah and IRGC members using Sanaa airport for attacks on Saudi Arabia and against the UAE.

The spokesman warned of Iran’s plan to take over the important port city of Aden and seemed to indicate Ansar Allah’s ultimate aim is to attack the Israeli port city and resort of Eilat.

Saudi Arabia was again targeted by Ansar Allah the same day the attack on the UAE took place.

The Yemenite militia launched eight kamikaze drones from the capital Sanaa in Yemen, but they were all intercepted by Saudi Arabia’s air defenses.

 

Ansar Allah now an official member of the anti-Israel front

In May 2021, Ansar Allah announced that it had joined the “anti-Israel front”.

The militia was already used to chanting anti-Israel slogans such as “death to Israel” and “Allah will curse the Jews” during parades.

The same year Ansar Allah’s leader took part in an IRGC parade during Quds Day in Iran (“Quds” is Jerusalem).

During the parade, a billboard with the leaders of Ansar Allah driving into Jerusalem was displayed.

At the same time, Ansar Allah began raising funds for the Palestinian resistance axis, announcing that it had joined this Iran-led coalition of terror movements that continue to terrorize Israel.

 

UN proves Iranian arms transfers to Yemen

The claims of the fanatical regime in Iran that it has nothing to do with Ansar Allah and does not supply weapons to the militia were definitively disproved by the United Nations (UN).

The UN Security Council recently released a report proving that Iran is transporting weapons to Yemen with small ships that depart from the port city of Jask in the Gulf of Oman.

The US Navy has intercepted these transports several times and the cargo of the ships showed that Iran supplies all the weapons of the Ansar Allah militia.

After one of these interceptions, the US announced that thousands of automatic rifles, sniper rifles and missile launchers originating from Iran had been seized.

 

Biden reconsiders earlier decision on Ansar Allah

The administration of US President Joe Biden is now considering putting the Ansar Allah militia back on the US list of terrorist movements.

Shortly after taking office, Biden decided to remove the Ansar Allah militia from this list.

That decision was primarily motivated by anti-Trump sentiments in the Biden administration.

Former US President Donald Trump had pursued an entirely different policy against Iran and was responsible for the so-called maximum-pressure campaign with biting sanctions against the Islamic Republic and its allies.

That campaign also included sanctions against Ansar Allah in Yemen and the Iranian IRGC, which Trump also added to the list of terrorist organizations

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