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(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

STATE ALLIES

* Iran
Iran
* Syria
Syria
* North Korea
North Korea
* Russia
Russia

* Qatar
Qatar
(accused by Saudi-led coalition and allies)

NON-STATE ALLIES

* General People\'s Congress * Hezbollah
Hezbollah
* Ahrar al-Najran Movement (allied themselves with invading Houthis and allies against Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
and Hadi
Hadi
-led Yemen
Yemen
)

OPPONENTS

STATE OPPONENTS

* Republic of Yemen
Yemen
( Hadi
Hadi
government ) * Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

Other state opponents

* Bahrain
Bahrain
* Egypt
Egypt
* Jordan
Jordan
* Kuwait
Kuwait
* Morocco
Morocco
* Senegal
Senegal
* Sudan
Sudan
* United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
* Somalia
Somalia

* United States
United States

* Israel
Israel

NON-STATE OPPONENTS

* AQAP * Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Yemen
Yemen
Province * Academi
Academi

BATTLES AND WARS

HOUTHI INSURGENCY IN YEMEN

* Operation Scorched Earth * Operation Blow to the Head
Operation Blow to the Head
* Battle of Sa\'dah * Siege of Dammaj * Battle of Sana\'a * Yemeni coup d\'état * Conflict in Najran, Jizan and Asir
Conflict in Najran, Jizan and Asir

YEMENI CIVIL WAR

* Battle of Ad Dali\' * Lahij insurgency * Battle of Aden * Abyan campaign (March–August 2015) * Shabwah campaign (March–August 2015) * Sana\'a governorate campaign (2015-present) * Battle of Port Midi * Battle of Taiz (2015–present)

The HOUTHIS (Arabic : الحوثيون‎‎ _al-Ḥūthiyyūn_ IPA: ), officially called ANSAR ALLAH (_anṣār allāh _ أنصار الله "Supporters of God"), is a Zaidi predominantly Shia -led religious-political movement (though the movement also includes Sunnis ) that emerged from Sa\'dah , northern Yemen
Yemen
in the 1990s and has fought against the government of the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh on and off since 2004.

Tension between the Houthis and the central government steadily grew in the 1990s, with war breaking out in 2004 with the group's founder, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi , leading a rebellion against then President Ali Abdullah Saleh . The group is now led by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi , brother of the first leader, who was reportedly killed by Saleh's Yemeni army forces in 2004. In late 2014, Houthis fixed their relationship with the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh , and with his help, Houthis took control of the capital and much of the north.

Like many of Iranian-backed military militia such as Hezbollah
Hezbollah
, the Houthi movement attracts its Zaidi- Shia followers in Yemen
Yemen
by promoting regional political-religious issues in its media, including the overarching US-Israeli conspiracy and Arab "collusion". In 2003, the Houthi's slogan "God is great, death to the US, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam", became the group's trademark.

Tُhe movement claims that they fight for ending the economic under-development and political marginalization in Yemen, as well as autonomy in only the areas where they are predominant not all of Yemen. They also claim that they strive for establishing a more democratic non-sectarian republic in Yemen.

The Houthis took part in the 2011 Yemeni Revolution
Yemeni Revolution
, participating in the street protests and coordinating with other opposition groups . Houthis also had joined National Dialogue Conference in Yemen
Yemen
which is part of the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative. However, after they took over the government with the help from the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh , they announced their rejection of the provisions of the November 2011 Gulf Cooperation Council deal, claiming that it did not fundamentally reform governance. and that the proposed federalization "divided Yemen
Yemen
into poor and wealthy regions" and saw it as a blatant attempt to weaken them by dividing areas under their control between separate regions.

In 2014–2015 Houthis took over the government in Sana\'a with the help of the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh , and announced the fall of the current government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi
Hadi
. "Saudi Arabia considers the Houthis a terrorist group." The ambassadors crisis also seriously threatened the GCC’s activities, adversely affected its functioning and could arguably even have led to its dissolution. Houthis have gained control of most of the north part of Yemen's territory and are currently resisting the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen
Yemen
that claims seeking to restore the internationally recognized Yemeni government to power. Houthis, Saleh forces, Yemen’s government, and the forces of Saudi Arabian-led coalition, have been attacked by the Islamic State militant group.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Membership and support

* 3 Ideology

* 3.1 Flag and slogan * 3.2 Charges of harassment against Jews
Jews

* 4 Leaders * 5 Motives and objectives

* 6 Activism and tactics

* 6.1 Political * 6.2 Cultural * 6.3 Combat and military

* 7 Armed strength * 8 Allegations of Iran\'s support * 9 Allegations of human rights violations * 10 Governance * 11 Areas under administration * 12 References * 13 External links

HISTORY

See also: Houthi insurgency in Yemen
Houthi insurgency in Yemen
and Houthi takeover in Yemen
Yemen
Territorial situation in Yemen
Yemen
in 2017. Houthi forces are shown in green.

The Houthis belong to the Shia tribesmen of North Yemen
Yemen
who are renowned among Yemeni tribes for their ruggedness, sharpshooting abilities, honour, and bravery in combat. This is while they are also disregarded as being ignorant or backward, by more metropolitan Yemenis, such as Sana'anis or Adenites. They have been known for being very moderate and are the closest to Sunni Islam
Islam
of all the Shi'a sects.

According to Ahmed Addaghashi, a professor at Sanaa University , the Houthis began as a moderate theological movement that preached tolerance and held a broad-minded view of Yemeni people. Their first organization, "the Believing Youth" (BY), was founded in 1992 in Saada Governorate :1008 by either Mohammed al-Houthi, :98 or his brother Hussein al-Houthi.

The Believing Youth established school clubs and summer camps :98 in order to "promote a Zaidi revival" in Saada. By 1994–1995, 15–20,000 students had attended BY summer camps. The religious material included lectures by Mohammed Hussein Fadhlallah (a Lebanese Shiite scholar) and Hassan Nasrallah (Secretary General of Lebanon's Hezbollah
Hezbollah
Party) " :99

The formation of the Houthi organisations have been described by Adam Baron of the European Council on Foreign Relations as a reaction to foreign intervention: shoring up Zaidi support against the perceived threat of Saudi-influenced ideologies in Yemen
Yemen
and a general condemnation of the former Yemeni government’s alliance with the United States, which, along with complaints regarding the government’s corruption and the marginalisation of much of the Houthis’ home areas in Saada constituted the group’s key grievances.

Although Hussein al-Houthi, who was killed in 2004, had no official relation with Believing Youth, according to Zaid, he contributed to the radicalisation of some Zaydis after the 2003 invasion of Iraq . BY-affiliated youth adopted anti-American and anti-Jewish slogans which they chanted in the Saleh Mosque in Sana\'a after Friday prayers. According to Zaid, the followers of Houthi's insistence on chanting the slogans attracted the authorities' attention, further increasing government worries over the extent of the al-Houthi movement’s influence. "The security authorities thought that if today the Houthis chanted ` Death to America ’, tomorrow they could be chanting `Death to the president ". 800 BY supporters were arrested in Sana'a in 2004. President Ali Abdullah Saleh then invited Hussein al-Houthi to a meeting in Sana'a, but Hussein declined. On 18 June 2004 Saleh sent government forces to arrest Hussein. Hussein responded by launching an insurgency against the government but was killed on 10 September 2004. The insurgency continued intermittently until a ceasefire agreement was reached in 2010.

The Houthis participated in the 2011 Yemeni Revolution
Yemeni Revolution
, as well as the ensuing National Dialogue Conference (NDC). However, they rejected the provisions of the November 2011 Gulf Cooperation Council deal on the ground that "it divide Yemen
Yemen
into poor and wealthy regions" and also in response to assassination of their representative at NDC.

As the revolution went on, Houthis gained control of greater territory. By 9 November 2011, Houthis were said to be in control of two Yemeni governorates (Saada and Al Jawf) and close to taking over their third governorate (Hajjah), which would enable them to launch a direct assault on Yemeni capital Sana\'a . In May 2012, it was reported that the Houthis controlled a majority of Saada, Al Jawf, and Hajjah governorates; they had also gained access to the Red Sea and started erecting barricades north of the capital Sana'a in preparation for more conflict. Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh has openly allied with Houthis

By 21 September 2014, Houthis were said to control parts of the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, including government buildings and a radio station. While control of the capital expanded to the rest of Sana'a, as well as other towns such as Rada\' , control was strongly challenged by Al-Qaeda . It was believed by the Gulf States that the Houthis had accepted aid from Iran
Iran
while Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
was aiding their Yemeni rivals.

On 20 January 2015, Houthi rebels seized the presidential palace in the capital. President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi
Hadi
was in the presidential palace during the takeover but was not harmed. The movement officially took control of the Yemeni government on 6 February, dissolving parliament and declaring its Revolutionary Committee to be the acting authority in Yemen. On 20 March 2015, The al-Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques came under suicide attack during midday prayers. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant quickly claimed responsibility. The blasts killed 142 Houthi worshippers and wounded more than 351, making it the deadliest terrorist attack in Yemen's history.

In a televised speech on 22 March, Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi accused the US and Israel
Israel
of supporting the terrorists attacks. He blamed regional Arab states for financing terrorist groups operating inside Yemen. On 27 March 2015, in response to perceived Houthi threats to Sunni factions in the region, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
along with Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Sudan led a gulf coalition airstrike in Yemen. The military coalition includes the United States
United States
which is helping with the planning of air strikes, as well as logistical and intelligence support.

According to a 2015 September report by Esquire magazine , the Houthis, once the outliers, are now one of the most stable and organised social and political movements in Yemen. The power vacuum created by Yemen’s uncertain transitional period has drawn more supporters to the Houthis. Many of the formerly powerful parties, now disorganised with an unclear vision, have fallen out of favour with the public, making the Houthis — under their newly branded Ansar Allah name — all the more attractive.

MEMBERSHIP AND SUPPORT

Ansar Allah fighters in Yemen, August 2009.

There is a difference between the al-Houthi family, which has about 20 members :102 and the Houthi movement, which took the name "Houthi" after the death of Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi in 2004.

The Houthis avoid assuming a singular tribal identity. Instead, the group strategically draws support from tribes of the northern Bakil federation, rival to the Hashid federation which had been a traditional ally of the ousted central government. The Houthis’ lack of centralised command structure allows them to generate immense support, as Yemenis from diverse backgrounds have joined their cause.

Membership of the group had between 1,000 and 3,000 fighters as of 2005 and between 2,000 and 10,000 fighters as of 2009. In 2010, the _ Yemen
Yemen
Post _ claimed that they had over 100,000 fighters. According to Houthi expert Ahmed Al-Bahri the Houthis had a total of 100,000-120,000 followers, including both armed fighters and unarmed loyalists.

As of 2015, the group is reported to have managed to pick up swaths of new supporters outside their traditional demographics. On 5 February 2016, Iranian TV named PressTV
PressTV
reported that Men of Hamdan, one of Yemen's most powerful tribes, rallied to the north of the capital, Sana'a, vowing to provide support in the form of potential mobilisation for the country's fighters resisting the current elected Yemeni government. In a gathering held in the capital, hundreds of tribesmen from the southern parts pledged union against what they described as a U.S.-Israeli initiative targeting the country, which was being implemented by Saudi Arabia.

IDEOLOGY

Houthis belong to the Zaidi branch of Islam
Islam
, also known as Fivers, a sect of Islam
Islam
almost exclusively present in Yemen.

Zaydis make up about 25 percent of the population, Sunnis make up 75 percent, and there are also tiny minorities of Muslims who are members of other Shia sects — the Ismaili
Ismaili
and Twelver
Twelver
communities. Al-Houthi Zaydis are estimated to make up about 30 percent of the Shiite population, according to Hassan Zaid, secretary-general of the al-Haq opposition party. The Zaydis ruled Yemen
Yemen
for 1,000 years up until 1962. During this time they ferociously defended their independence and fought off foreign powers (Egypt, the Ottomans) who controlled lower Yemen
Yemen
and tried to extend their rule to the north.

Similar to Shia Muslims in matters of religious law and rulings, the Houthi belief in the concept of an Imamate
Imamate
as being essential to their religion makes them distinct from Sunnis. As of 2014 it has been observed that "The Houthi group's approach is in many ways similar to that of Hizbollah in Lebanon. Similarly religiously based and Iran-backed, both groups follow the same military doctrine and glorify the Khomeini revolution in Iran".

As a consequence, the Houthis have regularly been accused, even by many fellow Zaidis, of secretly being converts or followers of the Twelver
Twelver
sect, which is the official religion of their ally and backer Iran. Ethnoreligious groups in 2002. Zaidi Shia followers make up over 42% of Muslims in Yemen.

The Houthis have asserted that their actions are to fight against the expansion of Salafism in Yemen, and for the defence of their community from discrimination, whereas the Yemeni government has in turn accused the insurgents of intending to overthrow the regime out of a desire to institute Zaidi religious law, destabilising the government and stirring anti-American sentiment. The Yemeni government has also accused the Houthis of having ties to external backers, in particular the Iranian government. In turn, the Houthis have countered with allegations that the Yemeni government is being backed by al-Qaeda and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
, The discord has led some publishers to fear that further confrontations may lead to an all-out Sunni-Shiite war.

FLAG AND SLOGAN

Main article: Flag of Houthis

The group's flag reads as following: "_God Is Great , Death to America , Death to Israel
Israel
, Curse on the Jews
Jews
, Victory to Islam
Islam
_". This motto is partially modelled on the motto of revolutionary Iran
Iran
, which reads "Death to U.S. and death to Israel".

Some Houthi supporters stress that their ire for the U.S. and Israel is directed toward the governments of America and Israel. Ali al-Bukhayti, the spokesperson and official media face of the Houthis, tried to reject the literal interpretation of the slogan by stating that in one of his interview "We do not really want death to anyone. The slogan is simply against the interference of those governments ". However, in the Arabic Houthi-affiliated TV and radio stations they use religious connotations associated with jihad against Israel
Israel
and the US. They also call Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
a U.S. puppet state.

CHARGES OF HARASSMENT AGAINST JEWS

The Houthis have been accused of expelling or restricting some members of the ancient and impoverished rural Jews
Jews
of Yemen
Yemen
. There have been also reports about supporters of the Houthis bullying or attacking the members of the Yemeni Jewish community. Houthi officials, however, have denied any involvement in the harassment, asserting that under Houthi control Jews
Jews
in Yemen
Yemen
would be able to live and operate freely as any other Yemeni citizen. "Our problems are with Zionism and the occupation of Palestine, but Jews
Jews
here have nothing to fear," said Fadl Abu Taleb, a spokesman for the Houthis. But despite insistence by Houthi leaders that the movement is not sectarian, a Yemeni Jewish rabbi has reportedly said that many Jews remain terrified by the movement’s slogan. As a result, Yemeni Jews reportedly retain a negative sentiment towards the Houthis, who committed persecutions against them. According to Ayoub Kara , Houthi militants had given an ultimatum telling Jews
Jews
to "convert to Islam
Islam
or leave Yemen". In April 2017 it was reported that 40 of the last 50 Jews
Jews
in Yemen
Yemen
were in an enclave next to the American Embassy in Sana\'a subject to Houthis threats of ethnic cleansing

LEADERS

Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi

* Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi – former leader (killed 2004) * Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi – leader * Yahia Badreddin al-Houthi – senior leader * Abdul-Karim Badreddin al-Houthi – high-ranking commander * Badr Eddin al-Houthi – spiritual leader (died 2010) * Abdullah al-Ruzami – former military commander * Abu Ali Abdullah al-Hakem al-Houthi – military commander * Saleh Habra – political leader * Fares Mana\'a – Houthi-appointed governor of Sa'dah and former head of Saleh's Presidential committee

MOTIVES AND OBJECTIVES

When armed conflict for the first time erupted back in 2004 between the Yemeni government and Houthis, the then-Yemeni President accused Houthis and other Islamic opposition parties of trying to overthrow the government and the republican system. However Houthi leaders for their part rejected the accusation by saying that they had never rejected the president or the republican system but were only defending themselves against government attacks on their community. Zaidi Shi'ites compose one-third of the population of Yemen
Yemen
and Houthis have often voiced the grievances of the Zaidi population.

The group has also exploited the popular discontent over corruption and reduction of government subsidies. According to a February 2015 Newsweek report, Houthis are fighting "for things that all Yemenis crave: government accountability, the end to corruption, regular utilities, fair fuel prices, job opportunities for ordinary Yemenis and the end of Western influence".

Hassan al-Homran, a former spokesperson for Ansar Allah, has said that "Ansar Allah supports the establishment of a civil state in Yemen. We want to build a striving modern democracy. Our goals are to fulfil our people's democratic aspirations in keeping with the Arab Spring movement." In an interview with _ Yemen
Yemen
Times _, Hussein al-Bukhari, a Houthi insider, said that Houthis' preferable political system is a republic with elections where women can also hold political positions, and that they do not seek to form a cleric-led government after the model of Islamic Republic of Iran
Iran
for "we cannot apply this system in Yemen
Yemen
because the followers of the Shafi (Sunni ) doctrine are bigger in number than the Zaydis."

Ali Akbar Velayati , International Affairs Advisor to Supreme Iranian Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, stated in October 2014 that "We are hopeful that Ansar- Allah has the same role in Yemen
Yemen
as Hezbollah has in eradicating the terrorists in Lebanon".

ACTIVISM AND TACTICS

POLITICAL

During their campaigns against the ousted Hadi
Hadi
government, Houthis used civil disobedience. Following the Yemeni government's decision in 13 July 2014 to increase fuel prices, Houthi leaders succeeded in organising massive rallies in the capital Sana'a to protest the decision and to demand resignation of the incumbent government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi
Hadi
for "state-corruption". These protests developed into the 2014-2015 phase of the insurgency. Similarly, following 2015 Saudi-led airstrikes against Houthis which claimed civilians lives, Yemenis responded to the Abdul-Malik al-Houthi
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi
's call and took to streets of the capital, Sana'a, in tens of thousands to voice their anger at the Saudi invasion.

CULTURAL

The Houthis have also held a number of mass gatherings since the revolution. On 24 January 2013, thousands gathered in Dahiyan, Sa\'dah and Heziez, just outside Sana'a, to celebrate Mawlid al-Nabi , the birth of Mohammed. A similar event took place on 13 January 2014, but this time at the main sports stadium in Sana'a. On this occasion, men and women were completely segregated: men filled the open-air stadium and football field in the centre, guided by appointed Houthi safety officials wearing bright vests and matching hats; women poured into the adjacent indoor stadium, led inside by security women distinguishable only by their purple sashes and matching hats. The indoor stadium held at least five thousand women — ten times as many attendees as the 2013 gathering.

COMBAT AND MILITARY

In 2009, US Embassy sources have reported that Houthis used increasingly more sophisticated tactics and strategies in their conflict with the government as they gained more experience, and that they fought with religious fervor and courage.

ARMED STRENGTH

Situation in March 2012

Saudi and former Yemeni officials have claimed that the Houthis have received significant support from Iran
Iran
in the form of weapons, money and training since 2004, while Houthi leadership denies having received weapons or financial support from Iran. Also, Tehran denied the allegation of Houthis arm support by Iran. A December 2009 cable between Sanaa and various intelligence agencies disseminated by WikiLeaks states that US State Dept. analysts believed the Houthis obtained weapons from the Yemeni black market and corrupt members of the Republican Guard. On the edition of 8 April 2015 of _PBS Newshour _, Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the US knew Iran
Iran
was providing military support to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, adding that Washington "is not going to stand by while the region is destabilised".

Late in 2015, Houthis announced the local production of short range ballistic missile Qaher-1 on Al-Masirah TV. On May 19, 2017 Saudi Arabia intercepted a Houthi fired ballistic missile targeting a deserted area south of the Saudi capital and most populous city Riyadh.

ALLEGATIONS OF IRAN\'S SUPPORT

In April 2015, the United States
United States
National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan remarked that “It remains our assessment that Iran
Iran
does not exert command and control over the Houthis in Yemen".

Gulf Arab states have accused Iran
Iran
of backing the Houthis financially and militarily, though Iran
Iran
has denied this, and they are themselves backers of President Hadi.

Phillip Smyth of the pro- Israel
Israel
Washington Institute for Near East Policy told Business Insider that Iran
Iran
views Shia groups in the Middle East as "integral elements to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)." Smyth confirmed to Business Insider the strong bond between Iran
Iran
and the Houthi uprising working to overthrow the government in Yemen. According to Smyth, in many cases Houthi leaders go to Iran
Iran
for ideological and religious education, and Iranian and Hezbollah
Hezbollah
leaders have been spotted on the ground advising the Houthi troops. These Iranian advisers are likely responsible for training the Houthis to use the type of sophisticated guided missiles fired at the US Navy. For Iran, supporting the revolt in Yemen
Yemen
is "a good way to bleed the Saudis," Iran's regional and ideological rival. Essentially, Iran
Iran
is backing the Houthis to fight against a Saudi-led coalition of Gulf States fighting to maintain government control of Yemen.

In 2013, photographs released by the Yemeni government show the United States
United States
Navy and Yemen’s security forces seized a class of shoulderfired antiaircraft missiles not publicly known to have been out of state control.

According to Saudi-owned Al Arabiya , Fars News Agency , which is the official news agency of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, has admitted to arming Houthis with missiles and training. The agency quoted “a prominent analyst” Seyed Sadeq al-Sharafi as saying that militias “are developing their missile power to target Riyadh and Dubai in the future, after they increased their missile and military capabilities and expanded the range of their military operations against the enemies"

In April 2016, the U.S. Navy intercepted a large Iranian arms shipment, seizing thousands of weapons, AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers that likely were headed to Yemen.

Also, the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in conflicts with them for 2 decades and currently allied with them, has accused Iran
Iran
of supporting the Houthi many times. Saleh stated in a New York Times' interview that "The real reason they received unofficial support from Iran
Iran
was because they repeat same slogan that is raised by Iran
Iran
death to America, death to Israel". He also said "The Iranian media repeats statements of support for these Houthi elements. They are all trying to take revenge against the USA on Yemeni territories".

ALLEGATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

Houthis have been accused of violations of international humanitarian law such as using child soldiers , shelling civilian areas, forced evacuations, executions and human shielding . According to the Human Right Watch, Houthis have inclined up their recruitment of children in 2015. The UNICEF mentioned that children with the Houthis and other armed groups in Yemen
Yemen
comprise up to a third of all fighters in Yemen. Human Rights Watch has further accused Houthi forces of using landmines in Yemen’s third-largest city of Taizz which has caused many civilian casualties and prevent the return of families displaced by the fighting. HRW has also accused the Houthis of interfering with the work of Yemen’s human rights advocates and organizations.

The _ Yemen
Yemen
Times _ reported that most children working for the Houthis are not combatants.

An HRW researcher, quoted in 2009 US embassy report, has downplayed the repeated allegations by the former government of Yemen
Yemen
accusing the Houthis of using civilians as human shields, by saying that they did not have enough evidence to conclude that the Houthis have been intentionally using civilians as human shields.

GOVERNANCE

According to the 2009 US Embassy cable leaked by WikiLeaks , Houthis have reportedly established courts and prisons in areas they control. They impose their own laws on local residents, demand protection money, and dispense rough justice by ordering executions. AP 's reporter, Ahmad al-Haj argued that the Houthis were winning hearts and minds by providing security in areas long neglected by the Yemeni government (currently ousted) while limiting the arbitrary and abusive power of influential sheikhs. According to the Civic Democratic Foundation, Houthis help resolve conflicts between tribes and reduce the number of revenge killings in areas they control. The US ambassador believed that the reports that explain Houthi role as arbitrating local disputes were more likely than the sinister suggestions.

AREAS UNDER ADMINISTRATION

Map last updated 30 January 2015

The Houthis exert _de facto_ authority over the bulk of North Yemen
Yemen
. North Yemen
Yemen
was united with South Yemen
Yemen
in 1990; the Yemen
Yemen
government has repeatedly suppressed separatist protests by force. The Houthis' direct administration includes the following territories:

* All of Saada Governorate * All of \ 'Amran Governorate

* Majority of Al Jawf Governorate , including:

* Al Hazm District (presence) * Al Maton District * Az Zahir District * Al Matammah District

* All of Hajjah Governorate

* Majority of Sana\'a Governorate including strong presence in:

* Arhab District (partial control)

* All of Dhamar Governorate * All of Al Mahwit Governorate * All of Raymah Governorate

REFERENCES

* ^ "What is the Houthi Movement?". Tony Blair Faith Foundation. 25 September 2014. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. * ^ " Houthis are fighting "Western Imperialism"". _PressTV_. Archived from the original on 2014-01-13. * ^ "Will Yemen
Yemen
kick off the _War of the two Blocks?\'"_. Russia Today_._ * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Plotter, Alex (4 June 2015). " Yemen
Yemen
in crisis". _Esquire_. Retrieved 5 September 2015. * ^ CNN Medics: Militants raid Yemen
Yemen
town, killing dozens, 27 November 2011. * ^ Houthis Kill 24 in North Yemen, 27 November 2011. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ "Iranian support seen crucial for Yemen\'s Houthis". Reuters. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2015. * ^ "Syrian regime coordinates military training with Yemeni Houthis". ARA News. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015. * ^ "North Korea\'s Balancing Act in the Persian Gulf". The Huffington Post. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015. North Korea's military support for Houthi rebels in Yemen
Yemen
is the latest manifestation of its support for anti-American forces. * ^ "Putin\'s Latest Moves: The Military Alliance Among Iran, Hezbollah
Hezbollah
And Russia
Russia
In Syria
Syria
Could Spread To Yemen". _International Business Times_. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2015. Moscow is now supporting the Tehran-backed Houthi rebels who are fighting forces loyal to the U.S.-supported exiled president. * ^ http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.795628?v=56D1D63B3A3C74F33F3B066CDC6BDE42 * ^ "Source: Hezbollah, Iran
Iran
helping Hawthi rebels boost control of Yemen\'s capital". Haaretz. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2015. * ^ Rafi, Salman (2 October 2015). "How Saudi Arabia’s aggressive foreign policy is playing against itself". Asia Times. Retrieved 23 January 2016. * ^ http://www.mintpressnews.com/houthi-rebels-invade-southern-saudi-arabia-launch-ballistic-missile-counter-offensive/218846/ * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ "Egypt, Jordan, Sudan
Sudan
and Pakistan ready for ground offensive in Yemen: report". the globe and mail. 26 March 2015. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015. * ^ " Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
launches airstrikes in Yemen". CNN. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. * ^ "SOMALIA: Somalia
Somalia
finally pledges support to Saudi-led coalition in Yemen
Yemen
– Raxanreeb Online". RBC Radio. 7 April 2015. Archived from the original on 7 April 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2015. * ^ http://m.jpost.com/Opinion/Yemens-Houthis-New-members-of-Irans-anti-Israelianti-American-axis-494170 * ^ http://m.jpost.com/Opinion/Yemens-Houthis-New-members-of-Irans-anti-Israelianti-American-axis-494170 * ^ " Al-Qaeda Announces Holy War against Houthis- Yemen
Yemen
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