A Yemeni man keeps guard from a mountaintop over a gathering of the Houthis, a Zaidi revivalist group with great influence in northern Yemen. Rise of the Houthis. Post revolution Yemen has led to the rise and fall of many influential groups. One of these currently rising in popularity are the Houthis. Once a small Zaidi revivalist group from the Saa'da province in northern Yemen that fought six wars with the Yemeni government, Houthis have spread their efforts into the politico-religious realm, gaining media savvy and popular support throughout the country. Their biting slogan "Death to America, death to Israel, damn the Jews, victory to Islam" can be seen painted and plastered on walls throughout northern Yemen.
The slogan stems from assumed corrupt governments of America and Israel, and the possibility America supported Yemen and Saudi in destroying much of the north during their six long wars between 2004 and 2009.
Despite their biting slogan, leadership and nearly all supporters assert their policy is against the governments of said countries, not the individual citizens. The Houthis have gained influence and power throughout the country, heading up community rebuildling and services throughout the north. Led by the son of their founder, Abdul Malik al Houthi, the group has re-branded themselves Ansar Allah and become seen as one of the least corrupt and most effective political groups in Yemen.
Throughout 2013 and 2014, Houthis have fought rival tribes, encroaching Salafi religious schools, and the Yemeni government. While many outside the north fear their rise to power will lead to a crackdown on rights and freedoms, those in the far north support them unequivocally.
Whether the Houthis will go the way of most who gain power and fall into corruption remains to be seen. But at present their support of the common Yemeni makes them all the more popular than the ruling majority.