Yemeni Houthi rebels have sparked outrage on social media after photos and videos of around three thousand female Houthi loyalists parading in Sana’a were released. The women were captured on camera marching, holding weapons and even babies while shouting the Houthi slogan: “God is Great! Death to America! Death to Israel! Curse the Jews! Victory to Islam.” [Tweets to embed:]
The women were captured on camera marching, holding weapons and even babies while shouting the Houthi slogan: “God is Great! Death to America! Death to Israel! Curse the Jews! Victory to Islam.”
— Ahmed A. BinMubarak (@BelovedAden) January 18, 2017
More than three thousand women Yemeni Mwaliat to Houthi group on Tuesday January 17, a demonstration in Sanaa. pic.twitter.com/UaMVbj1GYI
— Darl van Dijk (@Lastcombo) January 18, 2017
Women loyal to the Houthi movement parade to show support to the movement in Sanaa, Yemen on Jan. 17, 2017 pic.twitter.com/8eWGdex7bl
— Earthman Journalist (@Intprofessor) January 18, 2017
— GreenSpirit (@Bash_Sultan25) January 18, 2017
Their slogans are very similar to those chanted by their Shia coreligionists and military and political backers in Iran, who frequently chant “Death to America” in their political rallies.
This is not the first time the Houthis have been found using women and children to boost their war propaganda.
It is a common occurrence for children to be recruited as fighters by the Houthi forces. The UN estimated in 2015 that 72 per cent of all child soldier recruitments in Yemen are conducted by the Houthi rebels.
A girl holds a rifle in front of women taking part in a parade to show support for the Houthi movement
Sanaa Yemen REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah pic.twitter.com/geP2WTzEaZ
— Seref Sezgin (@SEREF737) December 29, 2016
Yemen, which is the Arab world’s poorest country, has been wracked by chaos since late 2014, when the Houthi group overran its capital city Sana’a and other parts of the country.
Yemen has been locked in a bitter battle between Houthi rebels allied with forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh and government forces led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, along with local tribes and resistance forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition.