Yemen’s Houthis have released disturbing footage showing its rebels staging an assault on a mock Israeli town, reminiscent of the Oct 7 Hamas attacks.
The video shows a rocket being launched, followed by a series of explosions. Commanders in camouflage uniforms and red berets can be seen watching.
Fighters then run into an imitation town consisting of several buildings and a water tower marked by Israeli flags.
Body-camera footage shows the rebels – some with Palestinian flags strapped to their backs – shooting at the buildings.
They then kick down a door, tear down an Israeli flag, and detain a man found cowering underneath a desk.
In other exercises, fighters can be seen launching drones, firing at targets from tanks, and blowing up a vehicle. They are also filmed performing combat exercises while a bomb destroys an American flag.
The Iranian-backed Houthis – which control swathes of Yemen – first became involved in the Israel-Hamas war in November by attacking international shipping in the Red Sea. They claim the attacks are in support of Hamas.
At least 29 ships have since been attacked, with 13 suffering direct strikes from missiles or drones. The attacks have caused major disruptions to global trade.
In retaliation to the Red Sea attacks, the United States, Britain and other allied nations have carried out dozens of strikes from the air and sea against Houthi military targets in Yemen.
The Houthis, however, say the strikes have not affected their operations and that they will continue until Israel halts its “siege” of Gaza.
The Houthis are part of the response by a so-called Axis of Resistance – groups backed by Iran and which also includes Hamas, Lebanon-based Hezbollah and Iraq’s Shiite militias.
The Houthis first emerged in the 1990s as an armed group in opposition to Saudi Arabia’s religious influence in Yemen.
According to regional and military experts, they have long received funds, arms and training from Iran. Iran denies it provides the terrorists with weapons and intelligence.