Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the head of the Ansarallah movement, declared in a passionate address on October 10 that they were prepared to “perform their sacred duty to stand by the Palestinian people,” showing Iran’s unity of fronts and the axis of resistance.
Supporters took to the streets in various Arab and Muslim-majority nations just hours after Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, the bloodiest resistance offensive for Israel since its establishment, was launched. However, despite Yemen’s great physical distance from occupied Palestine, one country stood out.
Similar to past large-scale protests in support of Palestine, hundreds of thousands of Yemenis descended upon the streets of many towns to steadfastly declare their willingness to support the Palestinian fight against what they perceived as the “enemy of the Ummah.”
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the head of the Ansarallah movement, declared in a passionate address on October 10 that Yemenis are prepared to “perform their sacred duty to stand by the Palestinian people.”
“Our people are ready to move in hundreds of thousands and join the Palestinian people to confront the enemy, and we will not hesitate to do everything possible,” he added, before emphasizing that “We are in coordination with the Axis of Resistance, and if the Americans intervened militarily directly, we are ready to participate even with rocket shelling.” Notably, like other members of the Axis, Houthi warned the enemies against crossing certain “red lines.”
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Yemen’s red lines
According to Yemeni military analyst Aziz Rashid, the US “is unable to engage in a direct clash with the Axis of Resistance because this will have serious repercussions on American and Zionist interests.”
Rashid says in an interview with The Cradle that there are other “red lines” that Yemen’s involvement in the crisis justifies beyond direct US engagement. He lists further reasons for breaching these boundaries, such as continuing Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians, assaults on Jerusalem, Jenin, and Nablus in the West Bank, the resistance’s appeal for help from Gaza, and any significant efforts to put an end to the resistance. Most importantly, he emphasizes that the entire Axis will coordinate a reaction to these transgressions “through the joint operations rooms.”
The Palestinian cause has always stood for a national, religious, moral, and ethical commitment for the Yemeni people. According to Talib al-Hassani, a political expert, “one of the reasons for the US-Saudi aggression against the state since March 2015 is Yemen’s position within the Axis of Resistance and the great danger it poses to the United States’ interests in the region.”
The Wall Street Journal has reported that a US source has revealed that the US is going to deploy 2000 troops to Israel.
However, the question of whether a country that has been subjected to an eight-year war and besieged conditions can actually take part in military action against Israel still stands.
“Some may see this position as a show,” Hassani tells The Cradle, “but, in reality, Yemen has significant military capabilities that enable it to target Israel.” He highlights the transformation Yemen underwent after the 21 September Revolution in 2014, whose objectives encompassed liberating itself from foreign dominance and aligning with Arab and Islamic causes, including the Palestinian issue.
Tel Aviv considers these dangers very seriously. After Operation “Yemen Hurricane” on January 17, 2022, when Ansarallah-aligned Yemeni forces attacked UAE oil facilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with ballistic missiles and drones – this, from a distance of about 1,600 kilometers, which is equivalent to the distance between Yemen and Israel – Israeli media raised the alarm. There was no longer any doubt that the Yemenis may attempt to attack the Israeli ports of Eilat, Tel Aviv, and Haifa.
Rashid emphasizes that any Yemeni engagement in the conflict will probably take the shape of drone and missile attacks aimed at certain targets, in accordance with the Unity of Fronts, the strategic plan of the Resistance Axis.
In addition, Hassani says that these attacks “may extend beyond the occupied Palestinian territories to the sea lanes and American and Israeli bases in the Red Sea and the African side of the Red Sea.” In his most recent speech, Houthi stressed that “we must have an impact on the Israeli enemy,” implying that the strikes “will be large, focused, accurate, and painful.” He cites this as support for his claim.
Ansarallah’s formidable arsenal includes the impressive Samad 3 attack drones, which have a range of 1,800 kilometers and are equipped with explosive warheads weighing between 20 and 50 kilograms, some of which were displayed in a military parade in Sanaa during the anniversary of the revolution last month.
There is also the Eid 2 drone, which can travel up to 2,000 kilometers to its targets and carries a powerful 40-kilogram explosive warhead. The Quds 4, Aqeel, and Toofan are among the long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles that the Yemeni army is also equipped with. Notably, Iranian naval missiles are capable of hitting US bases in the Persian Gulf as well as Israeli and US bases in the Red Sea.
Checking the US in Iraq
The resistance in Iraq has already started to make suggestions about what is to come. Injuries to several US service members resulted from drone assaults on the Ain al-Assad and Al-Harir facilities on Wednesday, which Kataib Hezbollah claimed responsibility for. The following day, Jaafar al-Husseini, a spokesperson for the group, outlined the strike’s justifications in detail:
“The Americans are essential partners in killing the residents of the Gaza Strip and therefore, they must bear the consequences…[The US] knows very well the potential of the Iraqi resistance, which has multiplied for some time, and today we are at a stage capable of striking all American bases in Iraq.”
No less enthusiastic about aiding the Palestinian resistance, especially in the face of constant Israeli bombardment and a potential direct US engagement, is Iraq, a nation where the Resistance Axis was instrumental in eliminating ISIS on its own soil.
Along with the public denunciation of the occupying army’s genocide campaign by Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa al-Sudani, Axis-aligned groups are preparing for possible involvement in the multi-front war when the call is made. These groups want to take on the same role they did in the Syrian battlefield when fighting terrorist groups that were supported by other countries.
Coordination with Hamas has already been established, according to a source in one of the Iraqi opposition groups. Meetings between Iraqi resistance groups have recently been held to discuss tactics for retaliating against Israeli assaults on Gaza, with an emphasis on broadening the scope of the conflict to fend off Israeli occupation forces. Making sure Tel Aviv fights alone will be the first step in the plan of attack.
“The Iraqi factions are monitoring the course of events in Palestine, especially with regard to American and European intervention in military operations alongside Israel. We have taken measures on the ground and we are fully prepared, and the target bank has been determined in the event of any direct American intervention in the war.”
If the US took part in Israel’s Gaza assault, the Secretary-General of the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, Abu Hussein al-Hamidawi, vowed to attack US bases in Iraq. According to him, “our missiles, drones, and special forces are ready to target the American enemy in its bases if it intervenes in this battle, and we will target known sites of the Zionist entity.”
According to a source close to the Iraqi resistance, there are further ways for Iraq to back Gaza’s resistance, which might put pressure on the US and Israel and alter the situation. These additional ways could be seen in the coming hours or days.
Palestine’s got allies too
On October 10, Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, the head of Asaib Ahl al-Haq, spoke by phone with Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas Political Bureau, about recent events in Gaza. Following the incident, Khazali emphasized in a statement that “Iraq is committed to supporting the Palestinian cause, and that the Iraqi resistance factions are fully prepared for any action required of them to liberate Holy Jerusalem and support the Palestinian people.”
Hadi al-Ameri, the leader of the Badr Movement, warned the US occupying forces that they would suffer “heavy losses” if Washington opted to get involved in the conflict directly. He recently said that the US was “responsible for what is happening in the Gaza Strip because of its unrestricted support for the Zionists,” and that it will suffer a great loss if it decides to enter the war on the side of the Zionist entity against the Palestinian people.”
According to military expert Nawaf al-Badrani, Iraqi factions have some geographical restrictions in contrast to Yemen’s opposition forces:
“The Iraqi factions do not have ballistic missiles capable of reaching the occupied territories. Its involvement in the battle may be through targeting American forces stationed in 10 major military bases in Iraq, or coordinating with Syria to allow faction fighters to reach the borders of the occupied Golan.”
According to sources in Iraq, fighters from some armed groups have already relocated to regions close to occupied Palestine in anticipation of receiving orders to take part in the conflict with the Israeli occupation army.
The Cradle’s communication with the leaders of various factions has confirmed that these groups are ready to take part in this “great fight” alongside the Palestinian resistance.