In a recent significant event, the Yemeni Armed Forces have declared war on Israel, as announced by Brigadier General Yahya Saree, a spokesperson for the Houthi rebels. The Houthis, supported by Iran, have reportedly launched missile and drone strikes on Israeli targets. In response, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have heightened their alertness and successfully intercepted a missile near the Red Sea using the Arrow Aerial Defense System. This interception marks the system’s first operational use since the conflict’s onset.
Additionally, the IDF intercepted another aerial threat with their fighter jets, ensuring no breaches into Israeli territory. The Yemeni military has taken responsibility for these attacks and vows to continue as long as the conflict with Hamas persists. Saree’s statement on Al-Masirah TV highlighted the use of ballistic missiles and drones against Israel. The U.S. military reportedly intercepted a missile aimed at Israel about ten days ago.
The Yemeni Armed Forces have declared this the third operation in support of Palestine, pledging to continue missile and drone strikes until Israel stops its aggression. They emphasize their steadfast support for the Palestinian cause, condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza and other Palestinian territories as destabilizing and extending the conflict. The statement concludes with a declaration of faith in eventual victory.
In 1962, Yemen experienced a transformative revolution, concluding the Shia Zaidi sheiks’ longstanding rule. This revolution significantly reshaped the country: the Shia-dominated northern highlands established the pro-Western republic of North Yemen, while the Sunni regions in the south sided with the Eastern Communist bloc, forming the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen.
Years of civil wars, unifications, and separations followed this period. By 1990, a significant division had emerged between the then-unified Yemen and much of the Arab world. This rift was primarily due to Yemen’s stance against the involvement of non-Arab nations in expelling Iraqi forces from Kuwait following the invasion by Iraq under President Saddam Hussein.
Saudi Arabia, in response to Yemen’s opposition to the US-led military intervention in Kuwait, expelled almost a million Yemeni workers. This action brought additional economic challenges to Yemen, already grappling with poverty.
In the broader context of the Middle East, the longstanding rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran found a new battleground in Yemen. This tension contributed to the outbreak of a full-scale civil war in Yemen in 2014. In this conflict, Saudi Arabia openly led a coalition of Arab and African nations, while Iran supported the Houthis, though without deploying its troops.
The war has had devastating humanitarian consequences, with nearly 100,000 children dying from starvation among the 400,000 total deaths caused by combat or famine. This conflict ranks as one of the deadliest for civilians in the 21st century.
As of the last year, the intensity of this conflict has somewhat decreased. However, Yemen remains divided, governed by two competing authorities, with neither having complete control over the country.