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Updated December 19th, 2023 at 15:00 IST

From ragtag rebels to regional force: Houthis gain regional clout after spreading terror in Red Sea

The Houthis have taken over much of northern Yemen since they stormed Sana in 2014. They have also been able to increase their military capabilities.

Sagar Kar
AP
Houthi seized control of Yemen's capital, Sana, back in 2014. | Image:AP
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The Houthis, a Yemeni militia group, have been gaining popularity across the Middle East in recent days, due in part to their attacks on Israel and ships sailing through the Red Sea. These attacks have been seen by some as a sign of the Houthis' growing power and willingness to challenge Israel, which has made them popular among people who are angry at Israel and the United States.

From local force to regional power

The Houthis have taken over much of northern Yemen since they stormed the capital, Sana, in 2014. They have also been able to increase their military capabilities, and they are now effectively functioning as a de facto government in the areas they control.

The Houthis' recent attacks on Israel have been described as a campaign in ‘solidarity’ with the Palestinians who are living under Israeli siege in Gaza. These attacks have transformed the Houthis from a local and regional force into one with a global impact, as per a report from the New York Times.

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Mixed reactions to Houthi actions

Some people in the Middle East have reportedly hailed the Houthis as heroes for their willingness to challenge Israel. Others are concerned that the Houthis are becoming a global problem, and that they are using the war in Gaza as an opportunity to gain legitimacy in the region.

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The Houthis' actions have also had a mixed impact on Yemen. Some Yemenis are proud of the Houthis for standing up to Israel, while others are worried that the attacks will lead to more violence and instability in the country.

The future of the Houthis

It is still too early to say what the long-term impact of the Houthis' actions will be. However, it is clear that they have become a major force in the Middle East, and their actions are likely to have a significant impact on the region for years to come.

It is important to note that the Houthis are a complex group with a long history. They have been involved in the Yemeni Civil War for many years, and they have been accused of human rights abuses. The future of the Houthis is uncertain. It is possible that they will be able to consolidate their power in Yemen and become a major regional player. However, it is also possible that they will face internal divisions.

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Published December 19th, 2023 at 14:59 IST

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