From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Conflict-ridden towns in news
Mains level : Extremism across the world
A suspected drone attack on Monday in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, caused multiple explosions in which three Indians were reportedly killed.
Who is behind the attack?
- The Shia Houthi rebels of Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Who are the Houthis?
- The roots of the Houthi movement can be traced to “Believing Youth” (Muntada al-Shahabal-Mu’min).
- It is a Zaydi revivalist group founded by Hussein al-Houthi and his father, Badr al-Din al-Houthi, in the early 1990s.
- Badr al-Din was an influential Zaydi cleric in northern Yemen.
- This group is inspired by the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the rise of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in the 1980s.
- Badr al-Din and his sons started building vast social and religious networks among the Zaydis of Yemen, who make up roughly one-third of the Sunni-majority country’s population.
What led to the Houthis’ rise?
- When protests broke out in Yemen in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring protests that felled Tunisian and Egyptian dictators.
- The Houthis, now confident from their military victories and the support they enjoyed in Sadah, backed the agitation.
Why did Saudi Arabia attack Yemen?
- The rapid rise of the Houthis in Yemen set off alarm bells in Riyadh which saw them as Iranian proxies.
- Saudi Arabia, under Mohammed Bin Salman, started a military campaign in March 2015, hoping for a quick victory against the Houthis.
- But the Houthis had dug in, refusing to leave despite Saudi Arabia’s aerial blitzkrieg.
- With no effective allies on the ground and no way-out plan, the Saudi-led campaign went on with no tangible result.
- In the past six years, the Houthis have launched multiple attacks on Saudi cities from northern Yemen in retaliation for Saudi air strikes.
Not a one-way proxy war
- There are serious allegations against both the Saudis and the Houthis in the war.
- While the Saudi bombings caused a large number of civilian deaths, the Houthis were accused, by rights groups and Governments, of preventing aid, deploying forces in densely populated areas.
- Houthis have been using excessive force against civilians and peaceful protesters.
Why did the Houthis target the UAE?
- This is not the first time the Houthis attacked the UAE. In 2018, when the UAE-backed forces were making advances in Yemen, the Houthis claimed attacks against the Emirates.
- They stayed focussed entirely on Saudi Arabia and Saudi-backed forces inside Yemen.
Try this PYQ:
Consider the following pairs:
Towns sometimes mentioned in news: Countries
- Aleppo: Syria
- Kirkuk: Yemen
- Mosul: Palestine
- Mazar-i-sharif: Afghanistan
Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1 and 4 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 3 and 4 only
Post your answers here.