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What Do the Houthis Want?

As Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis continue to attack merchant ships in the Red Sea, and as U.S. naval forces continue to shoot down Houthi drones in answer to mounting distress calls, under consideration now is a multinational task force to protect the shipping lane. That proposal, out of Washington, has prompted warnings from Iran, which claims dominance in the region. 

On Thursday, the Iranian defense minister said such a multinational task force would face “extraordinary problems” and warned that no one can “make a move in a region where we have predominance”.

No one appears to have been aware that the Houthis have recently obtained a longer-range missile capable of reaching a target 1,000 miles away. Of the missiles they have had in their arsenal until recently, the most powerful and longest range was the Burkan-3. The Burkan-3 has a range of around 1,200 kilometers (about 745 miles). In September, according to defense reports, they unveiled a new missile whose capabilities remained unknown. Those missiles are now likely the ones appearing to be directed at Israel (though Israel fairly easily takes them down with its Arrow Defense System). The Burkan-3 can have most of Saudi Arabia in its sites–not Israel. These Burdan missiles are essentially supplied by Iran, though Tehran can deny it all day due to the nature of the weapons transfers, which are likely done in such a way that their final assembly takes place in Yemen.…





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