The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have handed out student and staff ID cards at the University of Sana’a with a slogan saying, “Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, Victory to Islam,” The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday.
Nadwa Dawsari, a specialist on conflict and tribes in Yemen, posted a photo of one of the cards on social media on October 9.
The Houthis are a large clan originating from Yemen’s northwestern Saada province, and almost took control of Aden in 2015, threatening the country’s most important cities. The Houthis are backed by Iran and their proxy war on the region has seen nuclear power plants, civilian airports and oil tankers all targeted.
The Post reported that the rebels have increasingly incorporated anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric into their speeches, as part of the growing network of Iranian-backed proxy forces in the region, including Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The Houthis have adopted their “strident anti-Western rhetoric” from Iran, TIP Senior Fellow, Julie Lenarz, explained in the Tower Magazine in August 2017. “Their violent credo has left a trail of bloody footprints that leads all the way to Tehran,” she said.
Lenarz recently warned that, after the Houthis failed to attend United Nations-led peace talks in Geneva and used the grace period to further entrench their forces in and around the strategic port of Hodeidah, “a peaceful solution to the conflict can only be found through the capture of Hodeidah by Coalition forces, as sanctioned by UN Resolution 2216.”
According to a report on Monday, the Houthi rebels are preventing ships from unloading critical fuel and food supplies at Hodeidah port, a gateway accounting for at least 70% of Yemen’s aid and the illegal flow of Iranian weaponry to Houthi fighters.
“Throughout their occupation, humanitarian aid shipments into the port have been routinely mismanaged, with extortionate taxes applied and resources intended for civilians across Yemen instead finding their way into the hands of Houthi fighters,” Lenarz said.
Currently, the Iranian-backed rebels have detained ten oil and commercial vessels, with the ships’ crews prevented from unloading cargo, according to the head of Yemen’s Supreme Relief Committee Abdulraqeeb Fatah.
The ships include the Distya Pushti, a tanker flying the Indian flag, which arrived in Hodeidah on 28 September carrying 10,955 tons of diesel and 9,025 tons of gasoline, as well as the cargo vessel RINA with 5,700 ton of flour and sugar on board. Other ships have also been held in Hodeidah for up to six months.
In an op-ed published in The Jerusalem Post in August, Joshua S. Block, CEO and President of TIP, praised the decision by the United States to reimpose sanctions on Iran and limit the cash flow to Tehran’s proxies across the Middle East, including to the Houthi rebels. “Yemen is living with the consequences,” of Iran’s imperialist ambitions “every day” he said.
[Photo: Nadwa Dawsari / Twitter ]