British Ambassador to Yemen Michael Aron is facing a fierce wave of criticism on social media platforms, as activists, politicians, and Yemeni locals accuse him and the UK of siding with Houthis.
Houthi militias, for their part, claimed that Aron was biased and had aligned himself with the Saudi-led Arab Coalition and the Yemeni government.
The diplomat has demonstrated great tolerance towards all accusations and stressed that efforts spent by him and fellow ambassadors aim primarily to alleviate the suffering of Yemenis.
Aron, however, raised the alarm on the Houthis’ continued control of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, saying that it boosts Iranian influence in the war-torn country.
He noted that Houthis are following an agenda to reshape Yemen’s Arab national identity through enforcing tailored curriculums at education institutions and recruiting child soldiers.
“Houthis are altering the Yemeni society and curricula in schools. They control and change universities, deploy children to battlefronts, and send students to study in Qom, Iran,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Warning that the consequences of Houthi actions can prove “disastrous” for society in Yemen, Aron noted that the longer it takes to settle the conflict the more Iranian sway will grow in the country’s north.
“The more time passes without a solution to stopping the war and beginning the rebuilding of Yemeni society, the more Iranian influence in the north,” said Aron.
“After five years, Yemeni society will be completely changed by Iranian influence and Houthi ideology and traditions,” he added.
The ambassador condemned the Houthi attack on the airport in the southern Yemeni city of Aden last month as “criminal”. The assault was staged shortly after a plane carrying the newly formed Cabinet landed at the airport.
“The Houthi attack on Aden airport was an attempt at obstructing the implementation of the agreement (Riyadh Agreement) and creating more problems. It was a failure and a crime, and we strongly condemned this attack,” said Aron.