According to Sky News Arabia sources, Washington aims to raise the degree of caution towards Iran, and isolate the militias, especially after the Houthis increased the threat to maritime navigation, in conjunction with the field activity of the American forces, which was manifested in the American raid that killed the leader of the terrorist organization ISIS in Syria, Abu Ibrahim. Hashemi Qureshi.
McKenzie said during his interview at the Middle East Institute that the Iranian regime, which relies on its militia proxies to carry out “dirty operations”, sends many threats, pointing to the weak capabilities of the commander of the “Quds Force” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Ismail Qaani, compared to the former commander Qassem Soleimani, In control of the militias.
He continued, “Iran is well aware of our red lines in Iraq, but the evidence shows that armed groups are seriously trying to kill American forces with these attacks,” stressing that “the Central Command is ready for any eventuality.”
McKenzie attributed the continuation of the war in Yemen for more than 7 years to Iran’s support for the Houthis.
With regard to the Houthi attacks on the UAE, he said, “The Houthis, compared to Iran, have a lower desire to engage in a limited war, but the Houthis employ very recklessly and recklessly the armament capabilities they obtain from Iran, without any regard for civilian victims.”
Speaking to “Sky News Arabia”, David de Roche, an expert at the Center for Near East Studies, explains that McKenzie’s statements reflect the security challenge in the region, despite the defeat of ISIS as an organization, but it is active with its elements, while Iran seeks to supply its partners in Yemen with ballistic missiles and aircraft. The march to attack the Gulf states.
De Roche hinted that Iran’s proxies took advantage of ISIS’ presence to form militias, including the “Popular Mobilization” in Iraq under the pretext of fighting ISIS, while its real function is to be Iran’s arms, carry out attacks on American bases in Baghdad and Erbil, and terrorize Iran’s Iraqi opponents.
The former international observer to the United Nations, Kamal Al-Zogoul, agreed, and told “Sky News Arabia” that the Houthi militia has become a threat to the sea lanes; That is why Republican Senator Ted Cruz presented in the Senate a draft resolution to put the Houthis on the terrorist list, after he removed them from the list by Joe Biden in 2021.
Accordingly, McKenzie’s statements coincide with the move by Congress, according to Al-Zogoul, to direct the US administration to impose more sanctions on the Houthis, and coincide with the UAE’s request to put Al Houthi on the terrorism list, and this is a warning to the Revolutionary Guards to stop attacking the countries of the region and the coalition forces.
However, Al-Zogoul believes that the moment of listing Al-Houthi on the terrorist list is not appropriate before the conclusion of the Vienna negotiations” with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program, and the alternative now is to isolate the Houthis with the UAE’s support with weapons such as F-35 aircraft and air defense missiles to neutralize the Houthi missiles.
The second matter, according to Al-Zogoul, was securing naval patrols in the Persian Gulf and Bab al-Mandab to prevent weapons smuggling for the Houthis, and the dual exercise that opened in Bahrain on January 31, and included the international maritime exercise and the CUTLASS EXPRESS exercise, which will extend from East Africa to the Indian Ocean.
As for the Vienna negotiations, Al-Zogoul says: “We may witness the imposition of sanctions on the Houthis, and the organization’s being placed on the terrorist list depending on its acceptance or rejection of the region’s security conditions and peace initiatives.”