First, it was the Taliban, then came ISIS… Now meet the newest kid on the block in the Middle-Eastern-terror-game: the Houthis!
Over the weekend, the Houthis took control of several areas in Taiz, the third largest city in Yemen. The group now claims to control the airport and has rapidly expanded their seven-month old offensive into the Yemen, thus provocatively moving Yemen closer to the brink of civil war.
Opposing troops, loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, are based in Aden, about 120 miles southeast of Taiz. While the President’s troops sit and await in a what-comes-next posture, the Houthis are flying in troops and material into the airport that they now control.
The last week was a deadly and violent one for Yemen and has led the Al-Qaeda affiliate there, which was already substantial, to become even more of a threat to its enemies as a result of the collapsing political situation.
On Friday, another group, claiming affiliation with ISIS, took responsibility for bombings at a Shiite mosque in the Yemeni capital city that killed 130 people.
The Houthis, a Shi’ite Muslim group backed by Iran, entered al-Mukha, the southernmost Yemeni port before the Red Sea tapers to its narrowest point, overnight.
They were accompanied by units from Yemen’s divided military.
Yemen’s neighbors, Gulf Arab Sunni Muslim monarchies, have condemned the Houthi takeover as a coup. Foreign Minister Riyadh Yaseen appealed on Monday for Gulf Arab military intervention to halt the Houthi advances.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said the Gulf Arab states would take steps to back Hadi and he accused Iran of trying to sow sectarian strife in the region.
Iran calls the Houthi rise a revolution.
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