|Ash-Shabab al-Muminin (الشباب المؤمن,)
Believing Youth (BY)
|Participant in the Shia insurgency in Yemen and the 2011 Yemeni revolution|
Houthi logo reading "God is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, Damn the Jews, Power to Islam"
|Active||1994-Present (armed since 2004)|
|Ideology||Zaydi Shi'a Islamism|
|Groups||Houthi tribe, other Shi'a tribes in Sa'dah|
|Leaders||Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi †
|North Yemen and South-Western Saudi Arabia|
South Yemen Movement (alleged)
|Opponents|| Yemeni Government
Saudi Arabia (2009-2010)
|Battles/wars||Battle of Sa'dah|
The Houthis (Arabic: الحوثيون = al-Ḥūthiyyūn; alternately: (al-)Houthis) are a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as a "powerful clan," and by the title Ash-Shabab al-Mu'min (Arabic: الشباب المؤمن, translated as Believing Youth (BY) or Youthful Believers). The group takes its name from Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, their former commander, who was reportedly killed by Yemeni army forces in September 2004. Several other commanders, including, Ali al-Qatwani, Abu Haider, Abbas Aidah and Yousuf al-Madani (a son-inlaw of Hussein al-Houthi) have also been killed by Yemeni forces. The Houthi brothers' father Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group.
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 the Yemen Post it was claimed, however, 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.
The Houthis have asserted that their actions are for the defense of their community from the government and discrimination, though the Yemeni government has in turn accused them of wishing to bring it down and institute Shia religious law (Houthis have told people they are “praying in the wrong way” by raising their arms, as is the custom among Sunnis in Yemen), destabilise the government and "stirring anti-American sentiment."
The Yemeni government has also accused the Houthis of having ties to external backers, especially the Iranian government (as Iran is a Shia-majority country). In turn, the Houthis have countered with allegations that the Yemeni government is being backed by virulently anti-Shia external backers including al-Qaeda and the government of Saudi Arabia (despite the fact that then President Ali Abdullah Saleh is also Zaidi).
By 9 November 2011, Houthis were said to be in control of two Yemeni governorates (Sa'dah 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. By May 2012, it was reported that Houthis controlled a majority of Sa'dah, al-Jawf and Hajjah governorates, had gained access to the Red Sea and had started erecting barricades north of the capital Sana'a in preparation for new conflict.
- Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi - Ex-leader (killed in 2004)
- Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi - Leader
- Yahia Badreddin al Houthi - Serior Leader
- Abdul-Karim Badreddin al-Houthi - High ranking commander
- Badr Eddin al-Houti - Spiritual Leader (died in 2010)
- Abdullah al-Ruzami - Ex-military commander
- Abu Ali Abdullah al-Hakem al-Houthi - Military commander
- Mohammed Abdulsalam
- Saleh Habra - Political leader
- Faris Manna - Houthi appointed governor of Sa'adah and former head of Saleh's Presidential committee
The Houthis' independent administration includes the following territories:
- All of Sa'adah Governorate
- Parts of 'Amran Governorate including:
- Majority of Al Jawf Governorate, including:
- 40% of Hajjah Governorate, including:
- Kuhlan Ash Sharaf District
- Al Mahabishah District (partial control)
- Abs District (partial control)
- Aslem District (partial control)
- Khayran Al Muharraq District (partial control)
- Ku'aydinah District (partial control)
- Kushar District (partially control)
- Midi District (partial control)
- Mustaba District (partial control)
- Qafl Shamer District (partial control)
- Ash Shahil District (partial control)
- Washhah District (partial control)
- Parts of Sana'a Governorate including strong presence in:
- Parts of Al Mahwit Governorate including strong presence in:
- Houthis Kill 24 in North Yemen, 27, November, 2011
- "Iran backing Yemen militants to increase regional influence: expert". National Post. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Al-Qaeda Announces Holy War against Houthis
- What Is Yemen's Houthi Rebellion? By Pierre Tristam
- "Monographs". RAND. 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- John Pike. "al-Shabab al-Mum?en / Shabab al-Moumineen (Believing Youth)". Global Security. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Deaths in Yemeni mosque blast. Al Jazeera. 2 May 2008.
- Press TV Saudi soldier, Houthi leaders killed in north Yemen, 19 November 2009
- Philips, Sarah (28 July 2005). Cracks in the Yemeni System. Middle East Report Online.
- "Pity those caught in the middle". The Economist. 19 November 2009.
- "Thousands Expected to die in 2010 in Fight against Al-Qaeda". Yemen post. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Ahmed Al-Bahri: Expert in Houthi Affairs, 10 April 2010
- "Deadly blast strikes Yemen mosque". BBC News. 2 May 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2009.
- Yemen's war: Pity those caught in the middle
- Sultan, Nabil (10 July 2004). Rebels have Yemen on the hop. Asia Times Online.
- "Cable Viewer". Wikileaks. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "Saudi, al-Qaeda support Yemen crackdown on Shias". Press TV. 29 August 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
- "Al-Qaeda Fighting for Yemeni Government Against Houthi Shia Rebels...". 29 December 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
- "Yemen employs al-Qaeda mercenaries: Houthis". Press TV. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
- "Ali Abdullah Saleh Al-Ahmar". APS Review Downstream Trends. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
- The Muslim News Yemen after Saleh: A future fraught with violence, 27 May 2011
- "Houthis Close to Control Hajjah Governorate, Amid Expectations of Expansion of Control over Large Parts of Northern Yemen". Islam Times. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "Al-Houthi Expansion Plan in Yemen Revealed". Yemen Post. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "New war with al-Houthis is looming". Yemen observer. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "Meetings push government and Houthis closer towards "reconciliation"". Yemen Times. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "Middle East". Arab News. Retrieved 23 January 2013.[dead link]
- "Sana’a Cards to Pressurize Houthis to Enter New Dialogue Rounds". Yemen Post. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Yemeni regime loses grip on four provinces
- Houthis Expanding Outside Sa’ada
- (page 14)
- "الصحوة نت - Houthi militants storm school in Amran". Alsahwa. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Medics: Militants raid Yemen town, killing dozens
- "Houthi Group Builds Checkpoints after Deadly Car Bomb Blast". Yemen Post. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "Picking up the pieces". Al Ahram Weekly. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- 24 Houthis Killed in Car Bomb Blast in Jawf
- "Houthi Fails in Revolution Exam". Yemen Fox. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Al-Houthi Expansion Plan in Yemen Revealed
- "Truce shook on between Houthis, Al-Shahel tribesmen in Hajja". Yemen Times. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "Yemeni minister: Iranian RG advised Houthis to control Midi port". Yemen Fox. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- Two Houthis killed in clashes with Hajjah tribesmen
- "Yemen’s Huthi Movement in the Wake of the Arab Spring". Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "Houthi, tribesmen confrontations leave two women dead; locals fear escalation to war". The Free Online Library. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
- "Houthis seek to take control over Sana'a". Yemen Fox. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.