Israeli Military Deploys Air Defenses to South, Claims Threats From Yemen

IDF has been warning of Iranian attacks from Yemen

Since Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in an apparent Israeli plot, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have been warning of imminent Iranian attacks. One place Israel claims Iran could hit them from is Yemen.

According to The Times of Israel, the IDF deployed air defense batteries around the southern Israeli city of Eilat to face potential attacks from Yemen’s Houthis. The move happened around January 3rd, the one-year anniversary of the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Like the US, Israel conflates the Houthis with Iran. But Houthis are a Zaydi Shia group, a different sect than the Twelver Shiism practiced by the mullahs in Iran, so the Houthis hold no allegiance to the ayatollahs.

While Iran openly supports the Houthis politically, it’s not really known how much military support, if any, Iran gives them. What is known is the full-throated military support the US and other Western powers give to the Saudi-led coalition in its war against the Houthis, despite the coalition’s pattern of targeting civilian infrastructure.

Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia are often missing this crucial context. In The Times of Israel report, Houthi attacks inside Saudi Arabia were mentioned, but there was no mention of the US-backed Saudi-led war in Yemen that has been raging since 2015. Since the Houthis have their hands full fighting the Saudi coalition, it’s unlikely they would fire on Israel.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the assistant news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.