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How the Houthis Built Their Arsenal: Defense and Intelligence Procurement

The recent Houthi attacks on Israel, following the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel war on October 7, 2023, do not initially appear to have utilized the group’s recently unveiled weapons systems.

However, at least some of the footage released by the Houthi propaganda apparatus of the group’s launches against Israel appears to have been recycled footage. Regardless, the attacks on Israel highlight the risks that the extremist Houthi movement poses to the region and why it is essential to expose and disrupt their military procurement activities in order to prevent them from acquiring dangerous weaponry. Alongside their more aggressive regional activities, the Houthis also appear to be escalating on the Yemeni battlefield after a prolonged period of relative quiet.

 In the summer of 2023, the Houthis had reportedly amassed around 30,000 troops adjacent to Yemen’s oil-rich Marib province, a region that they had desperately sought to conquer before the April 2022 ceasefire. In late September 2023, just days after a round of Saudi-Houthi peace talks concluded in Riyadh, the Houthis sent a threatening message to the Kingdom by launching a drone attack which killed four Bahraini troops serving in the Saudi-led coalition along the Saudi Houthi border. Then, in late October, they killed 4 Saudi troops in cross-border clashes.