The Civilitary Theory
Model I Type: The Houthis in Yemen
The Houthis in Yemen are classified under Civilitary Model I.
The Houthis, a group of Shia rebels from northern Yemen, overran the capital city of Sanaa in September 2014. in January 2015 they further took over key governmental buildings, including the Presidential Palace and the Parliament, and put the President under house arrest.
It may be too soon to predict the long-term implications of this territorial development. Similarly, it may be too early to forecast how this group will behave and whether it will move along the path of the Civilitary theory. The fact that Iran – a state sponsor of terrorism – stands firmly behind the Houthis is indicative of what may lie ahead. Iran views the Shiite Houthis as “a copy to Lebanon’s Hezbollah”and sees the recent developments in Yemen in a way that is “moving toward building a great Islamic civilization.”
Due to uncertainty, at this stage we would like only to allude to some facts and developments in the course of the conflict between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia that, in our view, should be better understood through the lens of Civilitary Theory.
First, the Houthis gained territory and administer the lives of civilians in Yemen, which makes them a territorial terrorist group in line with Model I of the theory. Second, the Houthis have already executed terrorism and military attacks not only locally but also in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have responded by modifying their national security strategy, spearheading a coalition of several Arab states and carrying out airstrikes against Houthi targets in Yemen. Third, the Houthis responded by launching several Scud missiles from Yemen toward Saudi Arabia. In response, in late August 2015 Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri, a spokesman for the Saudi-led military confirmed that “Saudi forces have taken control of some areas in Yemen’s Saada province to stop mortar shells and Katyusha rocket attacks.”
These days are a sensitive time for the Yemeni and the Saudis citizens alike. It may be too early to definitively classify under one of the Civilitary models. . However at this point it may be possible to classify the situation under Model I.
—even though some indicators, like the continuation of a relatively effective airstrike campaign against the Houthis and its response by shooting scud missiles towards Saudi Arabia, might support categorizing it in a higher model.
CivlilItary Model I
The Houthis in Yemen
Examples of Civilitary Model III
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis
Examples of Civilitary Model I
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Examples of Civilitary Model II