HOUTHIS (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – World History)

News-CRUX-10     19th January 2024        

Context: The US launched more strikes on Yemen’s Houthis overnight as the Iran-backed militant group continues to roil global shipping markets with attacks around the Red Sea.


  • About: The Houthis, a substantial clan, belong to the Zaidi Shia sect, tracing their origins to Yemen's northwestern Saada province.
  • Houthi Movement: It is a Shia Islamist political and military organization that emerged from Yemen.
  • In the 1990s, the Houthi movement, officially known as Ansar Allah (Supporters of God), emerged in opposition to the dictatorship of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
  • Houthi Involvement in Yemen's Civil War: Presently, the Houthis are a faction engaged in the ongoing and violent civil war that has ravaged Yemen since 2014.
  • Territories: The Houthis currently exert control over territories in the west and northwest of Yemen, including the capital, Sana’a.
  • Houthi Alignment with Iran: Backed by Iran, the Houthis are a significant component of Iran's self-declared "Axis of Resistance," an informal coalition with an anti-Israel and anti-West stance.
  • Axis of Resistance Companions: Noteworthy members of the Axis of Resistance, alongside the Houthis, include Hezbollah and Hamas.
  • Yemeni Civil War: In Yemen, the Houthis are in conflict with the internationally recognized Yemeni government, led by Sunni factions and supported by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.