Houthis Attack UAE:
The roots of the Houthi movement can be traced to “Believing Youth” (Muntada al-Shahabal-Mu’min), a Zaydi revivalist group founded by Hussein al-Houthi and his father, Badr al-Din al-Houthi, in the early 1990s.
- Badr al-Din was an influential Zaydi cleric in northern Yemen. Inspired by the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the rise of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in the 1980s, Badr al-Din and his sons started building vast social and religious networks among the Zaydis of Yemen, who make up roughly one-third of the Sunni-majority country’s population.
- But when the movement turned political and started attacking the “corrupt” regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh (in Yemen) and his support for the US’ war on terror, it became a thorn on Saleh’s side.
- They called themselves Ansar Allah (Partisans of God), mobilising tribesmen in the north against the government.
- In 2004, Saleh’s government issued an arrest warrant against Hussein al-Houthi. He resisted the arrest, starting an insurgency.
- In September 2004, the government troops attacked the rebels and killed Hussein. Since then, the government launched multiple military campaigns in Sa’dah, the Zaydi stronghold, to end the resistance, which was locally called the Houthis movement, after their “martyred” leader.
- But it only strengthened the Houthis, who, by 2010, when a ceasefire was reached, had captured Sa’dah from the government troops.