January 9, 2020


Yemen's warring parties conflicted over Soleimani's killing (AL mONITOR, January 9, 2020)

Houthis share a close ideology with Iran, while the Yemeni government follows Saudi Arabia's approach. Parties to the conflict in Yemen hinge on outside players, and their reactions to regional developments are analogous to those of their foreign backers.

Houthis orchestrated mass rallies Jan. 6 in Sanaa and Saada province, expressing support for Iran and denouncing the killing of Soleimani. The participants chanted anti-American slogans, calling for the expulsion of US forces from the region. They carried pictures of Soleimani and raised placards reading, "God is great. Death to America."

"The entire [Muslim] umma has the right to respond to the crime of assassinating Soleimani and [Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and all martyrs] to counter the American hegemony," said the Sanaa rally in a statement. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, a pro-Iranian group in Iraq.

​Dhaif Allah al-Shami, the information minister of the Houthi government, gave a speech before the gatherings in Sanaa, saying, "The blood of Soleimani does not belong to Iran or Iraq. Instead, it belongs to all Muslims and the free people."

The late Iranian commander is now not only a national hero for Iranians but for Yemen's Houthis, who have taken to the streets and displayed his photos.

Abu Marwan, a school teacher in Sanaa, has seen several huge photos of Soleimani in the capital Sanaa. "The ordinary people here did not know about him before his killing," he said. "Now, they have come to know about him. Houthis cherish this Iranian military commander, and they have hung his photos because Iran and Houthis have common enemies."

Posted by at January 9, 2020 6:12 PM