On March 1, the Training and Qualification Directorate of the Houthis (Ansar Allah) released a video showing the training of one of the group’s special forces units.
The 3-minute video shows dozens of Houthi fighters training on assault and sniper rifles as well as on hand on hand combat and tactical movements. The video is apparently meant to reflect the high discipline and professionalism of the fighters.
The Houthi’s dramatic video was clearly inspired by footage released very recently by Hezbollah. The footage shows a unit of the Lebanese group’s special forces training in snow.
According to the Saudi-led coalition, which has been fighting the Houthis in Yemen for nearly seven years now, advisors from Hezbollah and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have been training and even commanding the group’s fighters.
The Saudi-backed Yemeni government announced the death of several alleged Lebanese and Iranian advisors over the last few years. Last August, an IRGC advisor called Heydar Sirjan and a Hezbollah expert called Akram al-Sayed were allegedly killed in the central Yemeni province of Ma’rib by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes.
Overall, Houthi fighters are well-trained, equipped and more motivated than the proxies of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Their discipline in the battlefield is one of the main reasons that allowed them to survive until now in the face of the coalition’s immense fire power.