Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a medium-range ballistic missile toward Israel Tuesday, requiring an Israeli air defense system to block it and signaling that the war Hamas started with a terrorist attack against the Jewish state may quickly expand into a regional conflict.
Robert Greenway, who orchestrated former President Donald Trump’s sanctions against Iran, told The Daily Signal Wednesday that there is “zero chance” Iran was not involved in the Houthi missile strike.
“They are even more directly involved in Yemen” than they are in Gaza supporting Hamas, Greenway, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense, explained. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news outlet.)
Israel said its fighter jets and its new Arrow missile defense system shot down two salvos against the Jewish state’s key Red Sea shipping port of Eilat, The Associated Press reported.
Analysts suspected Houthi involvement in an earlier attack this month when the U.S. Navy shot down missiles and drones over the Red Sea.
Houthis have held Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, since 2014, the year Yemen’s civil war began. They claimed three attacks on Israel in a military statement without elaborating on the time frame of the operations. The Trump administration designated the Yemeni rebels as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 2020, but the Biden administration removed this designation in February 2021.
The Houthis said they would continue the attacks “until the Israeli aggression stops.”
“Our armed forces launched a large batch of ballistic missiles and a large number of drones at various targets of the Israeli enemy,” Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree announced in a televised statement. “The Yemeni Armed Forces confirm that this operation is the third operation in support of our oppressed brothers in Palestine and confirm that we will continue to carry out more qualitative strikes with missiles and drones until the Israeli aggression stops.”
This week, Israel launched a ground incursion into Gaza, the site from which Hamas terrorists attacked the Jewish state on Oct. 7, slaughtering over 1,400 Israelis, including civilians and babies, and taking more than 200 hostages. Israel has pledged to eliminate Hamas following the attack, which represents the deadliest slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust.
The Houthi attack diverts critical air defense assets as Israel faces threats from Iranian proxies in all four cardinal directions. The Jewish state has faced attacks in the southwest from Hamas, in the north from Hezbollah, in the west from Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the West Bank (and in Gaza), and in the south from the Houthis.
On Friday, a fighter jet intercepted a target over the Red Sea, likely a drone heading for the Jewish state, shortly after a drone struck the Egyptian town of Taba (right on the border with Israel), wounding six. The U.S. guided-missile Navy destroyer USS Carney intercepted four cruise missiles and 15 drones in the Red Sea on Oct. 19.
Greenway, who has consistently urged the U.S. to take action to prevent the Hamas-Israel war from spilling out across the region, laid out a strategy for an American response to the attacks.
Referring to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (Iran’s military intelligence arm outside of the Islamic republic), Greenway said, “Kill the IRGC QF commander in Yemen and arm the Saudis and Emiratis to clean it up.”
Greenway has extensive experience in countering Iran. Under Trump, he led a team to plan and execute the most significant U.S. economic sanctions against Iran in history. He served as a principal architect of the Abraham Accords, working as deputy assistant to Trump and senior director of the National Security Council’s Middle East and North African Affairs Directorate.
According to a Daily Signal analysis, Iran has received at least $71 billion more under President Joe Biden than it would have under Trump due to the relaxation of the sanctions Greenway helped orchestrate.
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