Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Low Voluntary Recruitment Rate Alarms Houthis

Low Voluntary Recruitment Rate Alarms Houthis

Wednesday, 17 January, 2018 - 09:00
Houthi fighters react while riding on the back of a truck as they attend a tribal gathering in Sanaa, Yemen (File Photo: Mohamed al-Sayaghi, Reuters/Files)

Houthi militias are in a state of panic following low voluntary recruitment rates and in light of recent victories of Yemeni army, backed by the Arab coalition forces.

Houthi militias have mobilized their local leaders and ministers to fight in the fields to urge fighters in order to ensure the success of the recruitment campaign, launched earlier this month.

Houthi group acknowledged the impasse facing its militias in the field. A report presented at its government's coup meeting on assessing the field situation described recent national army victories as an "unprecedented escalation," according to official sources loyal to the militias.

While the response for recruitment calls has been limited in the main cities under its control, Houthi group ordered its members to open several centers to receive recruits and dedicated its media to mobilize new members, especially in districts with the highest population density in Dhamar, Rimah, al-Mahweet, Ibb, Amran, and Hajjah provinces.

A few days ago, Houthis leadership called a meeting in Sanaa of leaders and dignitaries Sinhan tribe, tribe of late President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the tribes of Bani Bahlul and Bilad al-Roos. During the meeting, Houthi leaders prompted the attendees to urge young people to join recruitment camps.

In addition, Houthi government's last meeting approved the allocation of financial resources to a plan funding the war effort of its militias. It also offered its members monthly salaries.

This comes with unprecedented activity of its members in schools, mosques, neighborhoods and public places to attract minors, unemployed and marginalized groups hoping to recruit them, according to witnesses in Sanaa and other cities. The militants are even trying enlist women including Zeinabeyyats, impoverished women, and prison inmates.

Houthis’ media outlets are broadcasting videos of training centers of women soldiers fighting, using weapons, or raiding house.

Due to low voluntary recruitment, Houthis forced its loyalist tribal leaders to encourage and intimidate a certain number of young men from each village to join the recruitment process, as citizens of al-Hima and Bani Matar areas west of Sanaa confirmed to Asharq al-Awsat.

Observers attribute the desperate spirit of militias to mobilize fighters to the escalating panic that has taken hold of their leadership as a result of the recent victories of Yemeni army as well large decline in numbers of its fighters.

Yemeni army forces liberated Nattaa directorate, second liberated directorate al-Baydaa governorate, and prepared to head towards neighboring Mujammim directorate.

Recent Yemeni army's statistics revealed that over the past year, thousands of Houthis were killed or injured in various areas.

In Taiz, a recent statistic revealed that coup militias lost last year about three thousand members, including 42 leaders, while 3100 members were injured.

Yemeni army forces captured 36 militants, including leaders, during the battles last year, according to the statistics prepared by media center of Taiz axis and published by the army website "September Net".

Editor Picks