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Houthi Preachers Call for Child Recruitment

Houthi Preachers Call for Child Recruitment

Sunday, 26 January, 2020 - 09:00
Yemenis walk through a road in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen on March 26, 2015. (EPA)
Sanaa - Asharq Al-Awsat

Houthi leaders in Sanaa, during Friday sermons, incited the recruitment of more fighters even if they were children. This followed heavy losses incurred by the Iran-backed militias on several battlefronts.

Worshipers at a number of mosques in the capital, Sanaa, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the sermons mostly centered on incitement to killing, violence and sectarian strife.

Houthi preachers called on Yemenis to donate and fight for the militias’ agenda.

“Militias have called on the mosques' platforms, formally, to recruit children, saying it has become imperative for every family in Sanaa to have at least one member participating in what they called the battle to defend the country,” worshipers told Asharq Al-Awsat.

In a related context, a source in Sanaa’s Awqaf and Guidance Office revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Houthi leaders had summoned last Thursday a number of preachers to give them orders and instructions to inflame citizens in their sermons.

Preachers were given instructions to use their speeches to incite the public into recruitment.

Sanaa locals, for their part, confirmed that Friday sermons mostly focused on spreading hate, as well as having families send their children to battlefronts to fight against what Houthis labeled as “apostates and mercenaries”.

Local observers point out that Houthi militias currently control most of the mosques in the capital, after having arrested hundreds of preachers, imams and guides and replaced them with sectarian Houthi loyalists.

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