Will US follow Israel's example to attack Houthis in Yemen?

New war in the making as Yemeni Houthis attack ships in Red Sea

The United States and its allies are getting involved in an operation against the Houthis in Yemen, who respond to Israel's aggression against the Gaza Strip by attacking military and commercial ships in the Red Sea.

The Houthis, Yemen's highly militant Shia Islamic population, control the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and several southern provinces of the country.

They declared war on Israel and launch missiles and swarms of drones at military and commercial ships in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. On December 16, more than a dozen drones attacked American destroyer USS Carney.

Washington will have to respond when Americans get killed

It appears that the Houthis are not afraid of anything. They threaten to use weapons that have never been used — advanced long-range missiles and drones made in Iran.

As a result of their actions, world's largest shipping companies such as Maersk, MSC, Hapag Lloyd and CMA CGM announced the suspension of freight hauls along the Red Sea through the Suez Canal and further to Europe (and back to Asia). This route accounts for 15 percent of international trade. Cargo ships will now travel bypassing Africa. This will increase transportation and insurance costs. Needless to say that prices on literally all transported goods will grow.

US convenes international coalition to fight Houthis

The War Zone portal, citing sources in the US Department of Defense, reported that Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin would announce Operation Prosperity Guardian next week during his Middle East tour. The operation will be conducted against Ansar Allah, the Houthi group.

In this regard, Norway's Foreign Ministry spokesman Eivind Vad Petersson said that Norway had received a request from the United States to join the operation. The request is currently under consideration, Norwegian publication E24 said. In other words, the United States is seeking international support. The Americans always act so in their interventions, but a ground operation, if there is on coming, will fall on their shoulders.

To support these intentions, a US Navy carrier strike group consisting of more than 20 ships led by the Dwight Eisenhower nuclear-powered aircraft carrier arrived in the Gulf of Aden, Politico reported. The Pentagon enabled the command of the group to strike the Houthis, the newspaper said.

The coalition is quite capable of bombing ground targets in Yemen, but there is a big question about a ground operation. They already tried to do it in 2015 with the help of Saudi Arabia, but failed. The Saudis decided to sign peace with the Houthis in 2023, but then Hamas attacked Israel and the latter turned the Gaza Strip into a slaughterhouse in response.

A ground operation in Yemen deems unlikely…

This could widen the circle of the proxy war with Iran and its allies because Iran is behind the Houthis. Iranian Defence Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani warned that the US plan would come across "extraordinary problems."

Let's assume that the Houthis might respond by striking the US base at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, which controls all of Africa.

The United States is already waging two proxy wars — in Ukraine and in Gaza. Venezuela is planning something in Guyana, China may conduct a military operation in Taiwan should independence supports win elections there in January. Is there a point to start another big fight against the Houthis on the threshold of 2024 elections in the US? Is the United States ready to conduct a large-scale and costly operation through to completion and for what purpose?

Will the Americans bomb the Houthis completely before bringing the ground troops in? Israel has already demolished about 60 percent of housing in Gaza and destroyed much of the civilian infrastructure. However, victory over Hamas is nowhere near.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko
Editor Dmitry Sudakov