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Exclusive - Fearless Yemeni Women Take up Arms to Fight Houthis

Exclusive - Fearless Yemeni Women Take up Arms to Fight Houthis

Thursday, 25 April, 2019 - 08:45
A Yemeni woman holds a weapon in the port city of Aden's Dar Saad suburb, on April 22, 2015. (AFP)
Aden - Ali Rabih
Atrocities committed by the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen have forced Yemeni women vigilantes to take up arms, putting behind them their country’s traditions, which long-sheltered females from conflict and violence.

Dozens of women have braved Houthi militants, fearlessly engaging in combat and marching in anti-Houthi protests in some of the country’s hottest war zones.

Hanaa Hussein al-Namsha is one of those women who will be remembered as fierce among tribes in her home province of Hajjah, where she fell to Houthi bullets.

The militants drove up to her front door on March 10, shot her in a hail of bullets and also killed her brother. Holding the dead body hostage, Houthis provoked Namsha into marching, guns blazing, into her home one last time.

Militants drove up to her house on March 10 and shot her brother in a hail of bullets. Holding the dead body hostage, Houthis provoked Namsha into heading into her house to fetch her Kalashnikov rifle to confront them. She managed to kill three gunmen and injure eight before running out of ammunition and being killed by the Houthis.

Another heroine is Asila Al Dohahi. Born in the war-torn country’s historic Dhafar region, she was transformed into a defender of the people and iconic resistance figure before even turning 20. She took up arms shortly after her brother was shot dead by the militants. She was killed by Houthi sniper fire during a clash that saw her take out at least four militants.

Zeinab al-Qaissy, a medical school graduate, has also made herself a name in resisting and fighting against oppressive Houthi gunmen seeking to overrun her hometown.

Over the last few days, Yemeni activists posted pictures showing Qaissy fighting at battlefronts, raising morale among her male comrades and pushing them forward to shield her hometown in Ad Dali' province from Houthi attacks.

Before taking up arms, she was helping wounded fighters operate the country’s first medical aid responders. But as the militias scaled up their attacks, Qaissy took up arms in defense of her homeland.

The Houthis have brutally tortured, jailed, murdered and uprooted hundreds of women arbitrarily in Sanaa and other areas under their control, according to government and local human rights reports.

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