07:15 GMT14 June 2021
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    The Yemeni Shia militia, which has been fighting a coalition of Gulf States led by Saudi Arabia for over six years now, has a notoriously poor opinion of Israel, and has threatened to target the country and its vessels using drones and missiles if provoked.

    Yemen’s Houthi militia have arrested a "Mossad spy" in Yemen and will provide more details on the matter in the coming days via the broadcast of a documentary film, Houthi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Sare’e has announced.

    In tweet on Tuesday, Sare’e promised that the documentary would “reveal through documents part of Israel’s intervention in our country, their plan to target militarily, and other secrets revealed for the first time.”

    The film, produced by the Houthi-led de facto government’s "Moral Guidance Department," is aptly entitled "The Spy of Mossad in Yemen."

    No further information about the alleged spy or the film was provided.

    The Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah (Supporters of God) have long accused Israel of involvement in the Saudi-led military campaign launched against them in March 2015, and do not recognise the Jewish State’s right to exist. The militia’s oft-touted slogan contains two anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish elements, reading: “God is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, A Curse on the Jews, and Victory to Islam!”

    However, Houthi officials have occasionally suggested that the reference to Jews is not to be taken literally, and that the militia’s issue is with Zionism, not Jews in general. Additionally, some members of Yemen’s tiny Jewish community have reportedly joined with the Houthis in fighting Saudi Arabia and their allies after the 2015 intervention.

    The  alleged spy claims follow on reports from last summer that Israel and the United Arab Emirates were working together to create a "spy base" on Socotra – a large Yemeni island situated about 350 km southeast of the mainland between the Guardafui Channel and the Arabian Sea. At the moment, the island is controlled by the so-called Southern Transitional Council, an entity widely reported to be sponsored by the UAE controlling much of Yemen’s south and seeking to break off from the rest of the country. Last week, the Houthis slammed Israel amid reports that Israeli tourists were visiting Socotra, saying the island was “occupied” by the anti-Houthi coalition.

    In late 2019, and again in January 2021, the Houthis threatened to attack Israel, saying they had a “bank of targets” ready to avenge “the Zionist enemy” if it targeted Yemen in an Iranian-Israeli proxy conflict.

    The latter threats followed claims by Tel Aviv that the Houthis posed a threat to Israel, and reports that the Israeli military was preparing for possible "Iran-backed" missile strikes from Yemen and Iraq. The Houthis threatened to target “sensitive” Israeli targets, including Israel ships in the Red Sea, and to inflict rocket and drone strikes on targets in Israel proper.

    Yemen has been in the throes of a foreign backed civil conflict since the mid-2010s, after a Houthi-led popular uprising in Sanaa ousted President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Hadi fled to Riyadh, with Saudi Arabia and a coalition of mostly Gulf allies intervening in March 2015 to try to restore him to power. The campaign stalled, with the Houthis remaining in control of most major population centres in the country’s west, and launching drone and missile attacks against infrastructure, military bases, airports, oil facilities, missile defence systems, and cities inside Saudi Arabia.

    Riyadh floated a new Yemen peace initiative this spring after the US dropped its open support for Saudi  operations in the war-torn nation.

    The six-year long war in Yemen is feared to have killed as many as 233,000 people, both in fighting and as a result of a humanitarian crisis. The United Nations has calculated that three quarters of the country’s population is in dire need of food and basic medical assistance.

    Related:

    Houthis Claim To Have Struck Saudi Arabia Military Base With Drone
    UNSC Calls on Houthis to Urgently Provide Safe Access to Oil Tanker on Brink of Explosion
    At Least 14 Reportedly Killed in Houthi Missile Strike on Gas Station in Yemen's Marib
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