The Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen have charged its all-female militia, Zaynabiyat, with the recruitment of child soldiers in areas under their control. Women fighters will attract minors to join Houthi ranks by reaching out to their mothers, local sources reported.
This comes at a time Houthi militants are mounting a fierce offensive in the central Marib governorate.
Yemenis and human rights activists have sounded the alarm against the repercussions of Houthis brainwashing children with sectarian and extremist ideology to later use them as cannon fodder at battlefronts.
Since late January, hundreds of children in Sanaa and its countryside and some governorates, such as Ibb, Dhamar, Amran and Hajjah, have been subjected to Houthi incitement and recruitment attempts.
Houthis, after practicing coercive violence and depriving targeted Yemeni children from education, incite recruited minors to undertake sectarian hostilities and join the fight against internationally recognized state institutions in the war-torn country.
“A few days ago, the Houthi Zaynabiyat militias held a number of workshops and seminars for Yemeni mothers in Sanaa’s Old City neighborhoods,” locals told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Mothers are being indoctrinated under an Iran-inspired agenda focused on demonizing pro-government forces in Yemen.
Over the last 48 hours, female Houthi militants visited dozens of homes in Sanaa to invite Yemeni women to join the militias’ sectarian seminars, locals revealed.
Women who rejected the invitation were threatened with being cut off from their share of UN aid and household gas supply.
They were also told that their families will be punished by the militias.
The Houthis have selected their most prominent cultural supervisors and religious ideologues to lecture Yemeni mothers.
According to sources, Houthis perceive Yemeni women as a weak link that can be easily exploited.
Therefore, they focusing their efforts on conditioning Yemeni mothers into accepting and encouraging to send their children to fight alongside the Houthis, especially in Marib.