While the world watches IS, Iran quietly advances

While the entire world follows breathlessly the battles between Kurdish forces and the Islamic State in Kobani, the Syrian city on the border between Turkey and Syria, Iran is slowly completing an impressive takeover of Yemen.

On Tuesday, Houthi separatists took control of the strategic Yemeni port city of Hodeida, west of the capital, Sana’a. They captured the airport to the south of the city on the same day. This came after the September 21 Houthi takeover of Sana’a itself.

The Houthi, Zaidi Shi’a (one of the Shi’a sects), have enjoyed the close support in recent years of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and its al-Quds Brigades, responsible for foreign theaters.

This should arouse worry in Israel. Yemen, due to its strategic location, commands what for Israel is a strategic waterway — the exit from the Rea Sea to the Indian Ocean, also known as Bab al-Mandab…

(Photo: Armed Yemeni Shi’ite Houthi anti-government rebels sit in the back of a pick-up truck as they drive near the state television compound in the capital of Sana’a, September 21, 2014. Credit: AFP/Mohammed Huwais)