How Iran’s funding to Houthi is terrorizing the entire region
The emergence of Houthi rebels in 2014 in Yemen as they captured the capital Sana was dismissed by the entire world as just a group of armed tribal fighters who are harmless in their unsophisticated weaponry. But how the world was proven wrong. But the years long civil war in Yemen, Houthis have transformed remarkably and spread their terrorizing acts beyond the borders of Yemen and well into the entire region.
The biggest reason of this transformed rebel group is the unhindered funding and backing to the group by Iran. Result is that the Houthi group is now enriched with an array of cruise and ballistic missiles and kamikaze boats.
The long range drones have enabled Houthis to extend their reach across the Arabian Peninsula and surged its threats to leading nations in the region, specifically Saudi Arabia – the arch rival of Iran. The rapid expansion of the abilities of Houthis is largely attributed to the funding and military aid from Iran, stressed aptly by the American and Middle Eastern officials and analysts.
Iran is now aiding Houthi to manufacture weaponry in Yemen itself, the poorest Arab nation, that will make a weapon that can do as much damage as the million dollar worth of drone – a targeted approach to militaries of the rich nations in the region. “What we are seeing in Yemen is technology being the great equalizer,” said Abdulghani Al-Iryani, a senior researcher at the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies. Summarizing the Houthi mind-set, he underlines, “Your F-15 that costs millions of dollars means nothing because I have my drone that cost a few thousand dollars that will do just as much damage.”
Recent attacks by Houthis in the region have targeted the oil fields, trying to attack the region’s oil economy and hurt the OPEC+. This has also hurt the fragile peace keeping attempts by the United Nations, after the UN backed truce had gone kaput within few months of standing. The attacks by Houthis on oil fields is also wreaking havoc on already jittery global oil supply chain. This has renewed calls from the OPEC+ nations as well as the West to designate Houthis as a terrorist organization.
“These attacks…have significant economic repercussions”, said UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg. “Attacks on oil infrastructure and threats to oil companies undermine the welfare of the entirety of the Yemeni people…risk setting off a spiral of military and economic escalation…[and] are prohibited by international humanitarian law”.
“A political process under UN auspices will be needed to reach such a resolution and the sooner we can start that work in earnest, the greater our chances of reversing the devastating trends of this war”, he added.