Houthi militias in Yemen rallied thousands of their followers in the Sanaa and Saadah provinces in reaffirmation of the group’s allegiance to the Iranian regime in light of the killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and deputy chief of the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Houthis flooded the streets of Sanaa and Saadah with pictures of Soleimani, who was slain in a US air raid near Baghdad last Friday.
The militias’ leaders vowed retaliation, echoing the declarations of other Iran proxies in the region.
Crowds amassed by the Houthis chanted slogans against the US presence in the region.
“The blood of Soleimani and al-Muhandis will turn into intercontinental missiles and weapons that destroy American warships and end the American presence in the region,” said Houthi media minister Dhaifullah al-Shamy.
He described the US as “barbaric,” claiming that it is “governed by a group of gangs, murderers and criminals, and that it must bear the repercussions of its actions.”
Yemeni activists and politicians said the Houthis’ deep sorrow and threats were proof of the militias’ loyalty to the Tehran regime and its abandonment of Arab values.
More so, Houthis making threats against the backdrop of Soleimani’s death also reaffirms their transformation into a sectarian arm working to break up Yemen and which serves as a tool to the expansionist Iran regime.
The gatherings organized by Houthis in support of Iran during its grieving of Soleimani, according to local activists speaking under the conditions of anonymity, makes it hard to believe that it is possible for the militias to abandon Iran’s agenda.
Yemeni activists also considered the demonstrations “a declaration of a proxy war on behalf of Iran in the region.”