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Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Eagerly Await Confrontation with the US: What’s Behind the Anticipation?

To begin with, it’s crucial to delve deeper into understanding who the Houthi rebels are. The Houthis are a Zaidi Shia Muslim group from Yemen who, since 2004, have been at war with various Yemeni regimes, culminating in the ongoing Yemeni Civil War. The war has enlarged an already existing schism between the Houthis and several international actors, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United States, making the potential of an intensified conflict with the US imaginable. One of the primary reasons the Houthi rebels may desire conflict with the US can be viewed in the context of ideological resistance. The group was originally formed as a theological movement preaching peace, but political corruption and marginalization poured fuel on the dormant embers of defiance. The Houthi battle cry, God is great, death to the US, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam, is designed to galvanize support among the local population and to frame their struggle as part of a larger global fight against Western imperialism. Therefore, engaging in direct conflict with the US serves to substantiate their ethos and could potentially solidify support from those sympathetic to their cause. Secondly, the geopolitical dynamic of the region is a significant factor influencing the Houthi’s desire for conflict with the US. They may perceive conflict with the US as an opportunity to embarrass Saudi Arabia, which has endured failures in Yemen despite extensive military expenditure supported by the US. If the US were to get directly embroiled in the Yemeni conflict and face comparable difficulties, the perceived invincibility of Saudi Arabia’s powerful ally would shatter, which could possibly weaken the Yemen-Saudi conflict to the advantage of the Houthi rebels. Another motivating factor is the potential to forge alliances with global superpowers eager to rebalance power structures in the Middle East. Notably, Iran, a Shiite dominant country, has been accused of aiding the Houthi cause in Yemen, contributing to the widespread perception of the conflict as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Confrontation with the US might prompt the Houthis to deepen ties with Iran, Russia, or other entities aligned against American interests, providing them with greater resources and diplomatic support on the world stage. Moreover, the Houthi’s welcome of conflict with the US might also be a strategic bluff, a proverbial game of chicken. By seeming willing and ready to attract US ire, the Houthis may hope to force the international community into

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