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Murrett Talks to About the Ongoing Attacks by the Houthi Fighters

January 19, 2024

Robert B. Murrett

Robert B. Murrett

The Houthi fighters—an Iran-backed Yemeni rebel group—continue to launch attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea. Their attacks target Israeli-connected or allied ships and are aimed at pressuring Israel to stop its devastating war on Gaza. 

"The ongoing attacks by the Houthi fighters in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, increased activity by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, and the steady attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Syria and Iraq represent a clear risk of escalation throughout the region," says Vice Adm. Robert Murrett (Ret.), professor of practice of public administration and international affairs.

"While Iran and Iranian-backed surrogates increase pressure at all of these points, it is not clear that Tehran really desires to have hostilities move to the next level. Moreover, it should be noted that there are still several different factions in the Iranian leadership with varying interest in raising tensions throughout the Middle East. As this dynamic continues to unfold, it is likely that Iran will attempt to control the level of conflict, although the risks associated with this overall approach are considerable," Murrett says.

Read more in the article, "Operation Iron Swords."

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