While continuing to mount attacks against Yemen’s northeastern governorate of Marib, Houthis reaffirmed allegiance to Tehran by sending a delegation to the Iranian capital to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new President of Iran, Ebrahim Raeisi.
For the Yemeni internationally recognized government, a Houthi delegation participating at the Iranian event exposes how deeply aligned the insurgency group is with Tehran’s regional projects and ambitions.
Photos taken at the ceremony show Abdulsalam Fleitah, the de facto Houthi foreign minister, bowing down to salute the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force Commander Esmail Qaani.
Not only did the government decry Houthi behavior, but even insurgency loyalists criticized Fleitah for appearing next to Raeisi without the Yemeni flag in the background.
They also slammed the head of Houthi foreign affairs for sporting a luxurious watch to the event when millions of Yemenis are suffering back home.
Moammar Al-Eryani, Yemen’s minister for information, culture, and tourism, said that Iran hosting delegations from regional proxies and affiliated terrorist militias is an indicator that the cleric-led country will maintain hardline policies, especially at a time when it has stepped up its terror targeting of international navigation in Arab Gulf waters.
Eryani said that the ceremony also reflected the regional and international isolation Tehran suffers today.
“Instead of the new Iranian president sending positive messages on the sidelines of his inauguration ceremony… Tehran officially announces its sponsorship of terrorist militias, and its responsibility for crises and wars in the region, and terrorism that threatens the interests of the entire world,” said Eryani in an official statement.
As for battlefield developments, Yemeni army media reported that Arab Coalition fighter jets raided multiple Houthi positions in Marib’s southern Rahabah district, killing and injuring dozens of militiamen.
Other Arab Coalition airstrikes destroyed several pick-up vehicles carrying insurgency combatants across Rahabah.