Dr Mike Evans

Houthi rebels hold joint operation with Iraqi militia groups against Israel

The Iranian-backed Houthis claimed responsibility for a “joint drone operation” targeting Israel in collaboration with Iranian-supported groups in Iraq.

According to Iranian state media and Houthi sources in Yemen, the operation aimed at a significant Israeli position in occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) intercepted threats from the Red Sea on the morning of July 8 and another from the East on July 9.

The Houthi announcement came through Iran’s IRNA state media, citing Yehya Saree, a Houthi spokesman, who declared on Monday night that their forces, along with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, conducted a drone attack on the occupied port city of Umm al-Rashrash, also known as Eilat. The operation was in response to what they described as Israeli atrocities against Gaza residents.

Saree claimed the drones successfully hit their targets and vowed to continue such joint military operations until Israel ceases its actions in Gaza. The Iraqi-based “Islamic Resistance,” purportedly linked to pro-Iranian militias, also affirmed its intent to target Israel.

Since October, the Houthis have targeted Eilat and several ships traversing the Red Sea. They have increased the reach of their drones, missiles, and kamikaze drone boats in recent months.

In contrast, Iraqi militias initiated attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria in October, escalating with the killing of three US soldiers in Jordan in January. They have also targeted Israel with drones, though their attempts have been largely unsuccessful.

The IDF reported intercepting a suspicious aerial target approaching southern Israel from the East at 4 a.m. on July 9, and a similar incident from the Red Sea at 3 a.m. on July 8.

These events align with the claims made by the Houthis and Iraqi militias, although the IDF did not confirm direct connections.