SANA’AH, Yemen — Hussein Muhammad al-Houthi, a mid-level ground commander for the Ansar Allah, smiles enthusiastically as he enjoys tea with his trusted lieutenants in a ramshackle shop nestled in the ruins a bombed out building. The 41-year-old Yemeni is excited about what he considers a once in a lifetime opportunity—to be part of the newest American quagmire in the Middle East.
“It truly is a blessing from the Prophet!” Hussein declared, lifting his teary eyes and battle-scarred hands to the sky. “Seriously, at this point, I was starting to think we would never get our break. We’re not cherries.”
“We’ve been at this since 1994.”
In September, Houthi drones struck two Aramco oil refineries in Saudi Arabia. President Donald Trump responded by authorizing U.S. troops to deploy to Saudi Arabia to help defend the kingdom. The move has sparked speculation of possible U.S. and coalition troops operating inside Yemen in the near future.
While many see the specter of entering a ground war in Yemen as a political and military nightmare, Hussein and his fellow Houthi rebels see their big break.
“Imagine getting in on the ground floor of something like this?” beamed Hussein as he poured another glass of tea. “Years of mission creep for the Infidels until they just resign themselves to staying and dying while filthy American politicians and cursed generals fail to develop an exit strategy. Glorious!”
“We thought we were getting into the big time during the Obama years, but he was all about the drones. Very disappointing.”
“It’s our time.” Said Abu Ali al-Ruzami, one of Hussein’s subordinates. “We may not achieve the same success as the Taliban, but the brothers in Afghanistan are on another level. I mean, 18 years. Are you kidding me? I’ll tell you this, though, we’ll do a damn sight better than those posers in Boko Haram.”
ISIS representatives were unavailable for comment.