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Opinion

EDITORIAL — Slow burn, quick spread

The Freeman
EDITORIAL � Slow burn, quick spread

We might soon see the war in Gaza spread beyond its confines.

Fed up with repeated attacks by Houthi militants on vessels in the Red Sea, a joint US-British strike force carried out air strikes against Houthi bases in different parts of Yemen.

According to reports, the attack targeted airports, radar installations, and facilities for drones, among other infrastructure. While the US and the UK delivered the actual blow, the operation was conducted with the cooperation and contributions of many other nations around the world that supplied intelligence and bases from which the attack could be launched.

The Houthi militants, expressing support for Hamas and largely backed by Iran, have been constantly harassing ships they claim are linked to Israel passing through the Red Sea. Last year they seized a vessel with 17 Filipino seafarers on board.

The militants have vowed revenge for the attacks. Considering how many countries were involved in that airstrike aside from just the US and the UK they won’t lack for targets.

Like the war currently going on in Gaza with all its history and gray areas, the Houthi situation isn’t a simple one. Although they claim to be freedom fighters they are also being declared terrorists. Their struggle to dominate all of Yemen is also seen by analysts as nothing more than a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

For now we see can this as a victory of an international coalition against a terror group. However, it is also possible they are just playing into the hands of Houthis who may have been provoking to get this reaction all along.

We should never discount that fact that Houthis may be deliberately looking for an escalation, another flashpoint, this time not between Saudi Arabia and Iran but between Iran and the US.

How a war develops is never simple, in many cases it is the result of a slow burn of events that lead to open violence. What is quick about it though is that when a war starts it can spread rather rapidly.

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