The Houthi group has been able to attract more members domestically and organize sizable demonstrations in the capital city of Sanaa thanks to the recent assaults on commercial ships in the Red Sea. Analysts claim that the group’s reputation had declined in recent months, but now it has recovered it thanks to the assaults.
However, while negotiations for a ceasefire to end the ten-year conflict seem to be gaining traction, they also issue a warning that domestic actions by the empowered group might jeopardize the precarious truce within Yemen.
According to the Houthi leaders, Israel is under pressure to end its destructive bombardment on Gaza, which has claimed more than 22,000 lives since October 7, by targeting Israeli-affiliated or ally ships with their strikes in the Red Sea.
It seems that a lot of Yemeni people have taken heed of that signal.
Millions of Yemeni people attended a pro-Gaza protest on Friday in the capital, according to a media site with Houthi ties. Pictures from the occasion showed a crowded al-Sabeen Square with demonstrators waving Yemeni and Palestinian flags. The mobilization occurred as the Houthis persisted in launching drones and missiles into the Red Sea in defiance of American warnings of escalating military operations.
Shipping corporations have chosen to circumvent the Red Sea and go along the southern coast of Africa. It incurred at least a fifteen percent increase in expenses and necessitated an additional nine days of travel time, due to the increased hostilities in this vital maritime route. Maersk, a major Danish shipping company, declared few days ago that it will stay out of the Red Sea for the time being.
More Popular after US Attacks
Operation Prosperity Guardian was organized by the United States in December, including ten countries at first: the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Seychelles, and Bahrain.
Their purported goal was to prevent the Houthi forces from attacking shipping vessels that are traveling through the Bab al-Mandeb strait, a constriction that leads from the Red Sea to the Suez Canal. The Houthis took control of the Galaxy Leader on November 19 and made it a tourism destination for Yemenis.
However, the Houthis remain unfazed. They have persisted in focusing on Red Sea commerce. On the last day of 2023, when US Navy helicopters targeted four Houthi vessels that were attempting to hijack a ship passing through the Red Sea, ten Houthi fighters were killed and three boats were sunk.
The United States and its allies issued what they claimed to be a final alert to the Houthi forces to cease targeting ships. However, the Houthis appeared resilient during Friday’s demonstration. As a fighter jet passed overhead, officials hailed the group’s martyrs and said they were ready for a military response from the United States.
Among Yemeni people, the Palestinian cause has enormous popularity. But according to some observers, the Houthi forces had trouble making ends meet and luring in new members before they started attacking ships in the Red Sea.
The condition altered after the Houthi movement began assaulting ships. Young Yemeni people are enlisting in large numbers in their hopes of battling for the Palestinian people in Gaza. Houthi movement has recently graduated over 20 thousand new combatants, and they named the unit after the October 7 mission of Hamas, Al-Aqsa Flood.