A powerful Yemeni militia allied with Iran is carefully monitoring the explosive developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and told Newsweek it would be prepared to join in the war if necessary.
“We in Yemen are with the Palestinian people in every way we can, and we will not abandon the oppressed Palestinian people and their resistance, which defends them and has the right to do so,” Nasreddin Amer, deputy information secretary of the Ansar Allah movement, widely referred to as the Houthis, told Newsweek.
“The possibility of our direct participation in support of the resistance depends on developments there, and we are closely monitoring the situation there and are in constant contact with the resistance.”
Following the massive shock assault launched Saturday by Gaza Strip-based Palestinian militant group Hamas, tensions have risen on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon home to another powerful Iranian ally, Hezbollah. Now, threats from a faraway southern front threaten to put Israel in an even more precarious position as it contends with its most serious security challenges in decades.
The Houthis, which are embroiled in a seven-year civil war against a Saudi-backed government that has been expelled from the capital, are believed to have access to a vast arsenal of drones and missiles.
Amer declined to provide any estimate of the Houthi stockpile, calling it a “matter that cannot be revealed.”
Such weapons have been used to conduct brazen strikes against Saudi Arabia, and Newsweek sources previously indicated the presence of Iranian unmanned aerial systems, including loitering munitions or “suicide drones,” in Yemen.
These platforms have proved capable of eluding even sophisticated U.S.-made anti-missile batteries such as the Patriot system. Russia has been observed using similar weapons reportedly developed by Iran to devastating effect in Ukraine.
Iran has denied providing these systems to the Houthis and has expressed its willingness to investigate their apparent use in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
Responding to Newsweek‘s question regarding potential concerns over new fronts opening up against Israel, including from the Houthis, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Major Liad Diamond referred to the support for Israel expressed by U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).
“Everybody now is very vigilant here in Israel. The IDF is on high alert,” Diamond said as what appeared to be interceptions by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system could be seen overhead. “We are at war, all of our defense systems are on.”
“Nobody should try us now,” he added.
“The success of this operation was the fact that it was a surprise, which makes it the biggest failure of the Israeli regime’s security organizations during the life of this usurping regime,” the Iranian Mission said late Sunday.
“They find it very difficult to accept that in the intelligence community, it is being narrated that they were defeated by a Palestinian group. They are attempting to justify their failure and attribute it to Iran’s intelligence power and operational planning.”
This is a developing news story. More information will be added as it becomes available.