Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

Houthi Attack on United Arab Emirates


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

  1. Aleppo: Syria
  2. Kirkuk: Yemen
  3. Mosul: Palestine
  4. 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.
Please leave a feedback on thisx


UPSC 2022 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
User Avatar
ketan gharte
1 year ago
Post your answers here." Read more »


User Avatar
Ashish Anand
1 year ago
Post your answers here." Read more »



Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥💥[Course]Smash Ethics by AIR 48, Ethics Topper 133 marks.
This is default text for notification bar