For immediate release | Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Iranian-Backed Houthis Launch Attacks on Saudi Ship and United Nations Facility

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(New York, NY)The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) today issued updated resources on the Iranian-backed Houthis, following two attacks the group launched on January 30.

A Saudi ship patrolling in the Red Sea was reportedly attacked by three Houthi “suicide gunboats,” killing two crew members and injuring three. On the same day, a building in southern Saudi Arabia near the Yemeni border used by U.N. staff to monitor ceasefire operations was hit by Katyusha rockets.

U.N. Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said it was “especially tragic that this attack took place at a point in time where we are calling for a restoration of the Cessation of Hostilities.”

The Houthis carried out rocket attacks targeting U.S. Naval vessels on October 9 and 12, 2016. While unsuccessful, the attacks prompted the U.S. to launch retaliatory strikes against radar installations captured by the Houthis and used to target the ships.

Backed by Iran, the Houthis have waged a series of bloody insurgencies against the Yemeni government for more than a decade and rejected a 2011 peace agreement that ended the Yemen civil war. In 2014, they captured Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and attempts by the United Nations to broker peace in Yemen and return the internationally recognized government have failed. The Houthis are known for their virulently anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric, including the group’s ubiquitous slogan: “God is great! Death to America! Death to Israel! Curse upon the Jews! Victory to Islam!”

To explore CEP’s threat report on the Houthis, please click here.