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The Houthis Are Expanding Their Reach

Jet

This week saw the Iran-backed Houthis expand their reach, hitting six vessels in three seas, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. Prior to this, the Houthis had not managed to reach as far as the Mediterranean, which is a rather troubling development for the West.

The attacks came only days after a Houthi spokesman warned of a new campaign targeting vessels heading to Israel from the Mediterranean. The Houthis also threatened to broaden attacks further in the Indian Ocean. This coincides with a meeting between Pentagon officials and their GCC counterparts to drum up more tangible support for U.S.-led efforts to cripple the Houthi campaign of maritime terror. What Washington wants is for the GCC to help intercept Iranian military aid to the Houthis. The Saudis, long embroiled in the civil war in Yemen, where Riyadh and Tehran had carried out a long-running proxy war against each other until a rapprochement and restoration of diplomatic ties just over a year ago. That means the Saudis aren’t keen to stir things up again in Yemen, or with Iran, making this a dangerous balancing act for the Crown Prince, especially considering that Saudi Arabia doesn’t want to be seen to be allowing the U.S. to launch airstrikes on Houthi targets from inside the Kingdom. 

For Iran, the Houthi campaign in the Red Sea, and its potential to expand into the Mediterranean, is a bit of leverage it is not going to give up at this time, and the Saudis will do what…





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