By centering the defense of Palestinians, the Houthis have found a way to discredit their domestic opponents and strengthen their hold on power.
Iran’s proxy Axis of Resistance network seldom involves absolute control but gives it flexibility to conduct asymmetric warfare across the Middle East.
The U.S.-led anti-Houthi naval task force faces significant operational challenges, including few warships for a large area and short missile warning times.
Houthi provocations along the strategic Bab al-Mandeb are low risk and high return. They boost local support for the Houthis and could make the U.S. and Israel more risk-averse.
As a neutral player, China can engage with Iran and Saudi Arabia on the Yemen war in a way the U.S. simply cannot.