Houthi movement

Political-religious armed movement in Yemen / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Houthi movement[lower-alpha 1] ([al.ħuː.θiː.juːn]; Arabic: ٱلْحُوثِيُّون, romanized: al-Ḥūthīyūn), officially called Ansar Allah (Arabic: أَنْصَار ٱللَّٰه, romanized: ʾAnṣār Allāh, lit.'Supporters of God') and colloquially simply Houthis, is an Islamist political and armed organization that emerged from the Yemeni governorate of Saada in the 1990s. The Houthi movement is a predominately Zaidi Shia force,[7] whose leadership is drawn largely from the Houthi tribe.[77]

Quick facts: Houthi movement ٱلْحُوثِيُّونAnsar Allah أَنْ...
Houthi movement
Ansar Allah
أَنْصَار ٱللَّٰه
SpokespersonMohammed Abdul Salam[1]
Dates of operation1994–ongoing
(armed since 2004)
HeadquartersSaada and Sanaa, Yemen
Active regionsYemen (includes Saudi Arabia–Yemen border)[2]
Size100,000 (2011)[25][26]
200,000 (2020)[27]
AlliesState allies

Non-state allies

OpponentsState opponents

Non-state opponents

Battles and warsHouthi insurgency in Yemen, Yemeni Crisis (the Yemeni Revolution, the Yemeni Civil War, the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen and the Saudi–Yemeni border conflict (2015–present))
Designated as a terrorist group byFlag_of_Yemen.svg Yemen (Alimi led government) [71][72]
Flag_of_Saudi_Arabia.svg Saudi Arabia[73]
Flag_of_the_United_Arab_Emirates.svg United Arab Emirates[74]
Flag_of_Malaysia.svg Malaysia[75]

Under the leadership of Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, the group emerged as an opposition to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh. They accused him of corruption and criticized him for being backed by Saudi Arabia and the United States.[58] Hussein accused Saleh of seeking to please the U.S. at the expense of the Yemeni people[78] and Yemen's sovereignty.[79] In 2003, the Houthis' slogan, "God is great, death to the US, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam", became the group's trademark.[80] Resisting Saleh's order for his arrest,[81] Hussein was killed in Sa'dah in 2004 along with a number of his guards by the Yemeni army, sparking the Houthi insurgency in Yemen.[82] Since then, except for a short intervening period, the movement has been led by his brother Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.[81]

The Houthi movement attracts followers in Yemen by portraying themselves as fighting for economic development, the end of political marginalization of Zaidi Shia Muslims,[83] and promoting regional political-religious issues in its media, fostering the rhetoric of an overarching U.S.–Israeli conspiracy theory and Arab "collusion".[84][85] The Houthis have a complex relationship with Yemen's Sunni Muslims; the movement has discriminated against Sunnis, but also recruited and allied with them.[86][8][87][9] The Houthis took part in the 2011 Yemeni Revolution by participating in street protests and by coordinating with other opposition groups. They joined the National Dialogue Conference in Yemen as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative to broker peace following the unrest. However, the Houthis would later reject the November 2011 GCC deal's provisions stipulating formation of six federal regions in Yemen, claiming that the deal did not fundamentally reform governance and that the proposed federalization "divided Yemen into poor and wealthy regions". Houthis also feared the deal was a blatant attempt to weaken them by dividing areas under their control between separate regions.[9][83] In late 2014, Houthis repaired their relationship with the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and with his help, they took control of the capital and much of the north, and announced the fall of the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.[88][89][90]

Since 2015, the Houthis have been fighting the Saudi Arabian–led intervention in Yemen that seeks to establish full territorial control by the internationally recognized government within Yemen.[91] Additionally, the Islamic State militant group has attacked all of the major parties to the conflict, including the Houthis, forces loyal to former president Saleh, the Yemeni government, and the Saudi Arabian–led coalition forces.[92][93] The Houthis aim to govern all of Yemen, and external anti-imperialist movements against the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.[94] They have launched repeated missile and drone attacks against Saudi cities. The conflict is widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.[95]