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Houthis Celebrate Their Dead, Launch New Graveyards

Houthis Celebrate Their Dead, Launch New Graveyards

Monday, 21 January, 2019 - 12:00
Houthi militants ride on the back of a patrol truck as they attend a tribal gathering held to show support to the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
Sanaa- Asharq Al-Awsat

Yemeni provinces and neighborhoods under the control of Iran-backed Houthi militants were forced to celebrate death in an annual rally organized by the insurgency to commemorate those “martyred” in the civil war waged by the group against national state institutions.

The opening of serval burial grounds marked 2019’s self-proclaimed “week of the martyr” Houthi celebrations. Fresh cemetery lands are being designated to lay to rest the fighters of the group exclusively.

Despite Yemen standing on the brink of famine, Houthi leaders have allocated astronomical funds cut from state institutions’ budget and forcibly collected in the form of “donations” from major trade owners in order to organize for the above-mentioned celebrations, well-informed sources, speaking under the conditions of anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Securing a budget for the group’s war effort has been a core policy adopted and ordered by Houthi leadership, the sources added.

In under a year, the group built over 100 new graveyards in Sanaa, Saada, al-Mahweet, Hodeidah, Rameh, Ibb and Dhamar, adding them to an existing total of 400 cemeteries Houthis built during the past years in an effort to propagate a culture of death glorification to attract more recruits.

Public streets, city walls, schools, and government buildings in Sanaa were flooded with millions of flyers and posters depicting the group’s fallen fighters, most of who were young—Houthi militia recruiters appeal to the youth with a sectarian zeal to consign, train, and deploy them as cannon fodder to battlefronts.

In Ibb province alone, Houthis hung up the pictures of about 1,250 militants killed in battle, after the group, acting upon a direct order issued by Houthi movement leader Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi, extorted state institutions and senior merchants into funding its activities.

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