Videos show children recruited by Houthis chanting, visiting militants’ graves
The Iran-backed Houthi militia has been teaching children abusive chants and organizing visits for them to pay respects to fighters killed in the conflict against the UN-recognized Yemeni government, suggests video footage obtained by Al Hadath.
The videos appear to support the claim by the Yemeni Minister of Information, Moammar al-Eryani, that the Houthis have been using children for their cause. Al-Eryani also alleged that the Houthis have sent young boys to the front lines without weapons, echoing tactics used by the Iranian Basij militia during the Iran-Iraq war.
The footage obtained by Al Hadath showed a vehicle convoy containing children, allegedly toward the front line of the ongoing conflict.
In videos filmed by a Houthi photographer, Abu Karar al-Akwaa, several boys also appear in a cemetery where militiamen are buried and are prompted by the cameraman to chant phrases condemning America and Israel.
“Death to America. Death to Israel. Curse the Jews,” the children are heard screaming.
The Houthis have also recruited a large number of young girls who they call the Zainabiyat, according to the Al Hadath report. Zainab was the Prophet Muhammad’s eldest daughter.
The latest video footage comes six months after the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution condemning the Houthi militia for numerous human rights abuses including its widespread recruitment and use of children.
The war in Yemen began in 2014 when the Houthis overthrew the internationally-recognized government, which led to the formation of the Arab Coalition including Saudi Arabia and the UAE to combat the Iran-backed militia.