The ironic factor that is between the Houthis and al-Qaida, that is, they both have strong anti-American sentiment. For example, the slogan of the Houthis is death to America and death to Israel and God curse the Jews and victory to Islam. And besides that, there is very little in common between al-Qaida and the Houthis as far as ideology goes, but they see themselves as having a common enemy, which is America. And America is in a situation, where the Houthis are fighting al-Qaida quite viciously on the ground, yet now the Americans are allied with Saudi Arabia in strikes against the Houthis.
I think what is happening is that Houthis and the Iranians have common interests, but there’s very little good journalism that’s been done to uncover the true extent of that relationship between the Houthis and Iran. But, obviously, I do think that they – they benefit from the rhetoric of the Houthis on the ground. But, also, they do have a connection, but not to the extent that is being covered in the media at the moment by describing them as a Shia militia backed by Iran. I think that’s an overstatement.
The struggle against the Houthis inside Yemen is fierce. For years, powerful Yemeni tribes received money from Saudi Arabia. Now the Saudis back the Sunni tribes opposed to the Houthis with cash and arms. And then there is al-Qaida.