Since the beginning of the Saudi-Emirati led operation Decisive Storm in Yemen to restore legitimate power to the Yemeni government and end the Houthi-Iranian coup, the Houthis have started to suffer from confusion, lack of clear vision, a lack of armed elements and funds, and a decline in their popularity. This new situation eventually forced the Houthis to instruct the compulsory recruitment of minors and women, imposing royalties on traders and investors, and looting public funds and state property; and this all after the reduction of Iranian support due to the rigorous control imposed by the Arab alliance on Yemen’s borders and ports to prevent the smuggle of arms to the Houthis by Iran.
After a record death toll of innocent children, recruiting minors and women and putting them in the front line, and using civilians as human shields, the Houthi group has now resorted to approaching schools and families to intensify the compulsory recruitment of children and young people to cover the growing deficit in its members, brought about by the desertion of some recruits and the deaths of many on the front lines of combat. It can even be said that the Houthi group is currently suffering the greatest deficit it has ever seen in numbers of its combat elements, prompting the leader of these militias, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, to ask the leaders of the tribes in Sa’dah to recruit more fighters after the heavy losses his militia suffered because of the air strikes by the Arab Coalition and clashes with the National Army forces. However, this demand was met with strong rejection by these tribes, which are now seeing with certainty that the fall of al-Houthi is just around the corner.
The other example of the Houthis’ failure is the imposition of new royalties on many traders and sheikhs of the Ibb province, under the pretext of supporting what they call the “war effort”, and to send food convoy for their fighters on various fronts. The group also imposed royalties on small pharmacies of up to 15 thousand riyals and on big pharmacies of minimum 20 thousand. For the sheikhs, it was 50 thousand riyals and other merchants who were forced to pay from their goods as well as money. Houthis’ leaders have also looted the money of the Yemeni charities, which usually distributed on the poor and ill people, as they believe that funding combating legitimacy is more important than helping the poor and destitute people.
These instructions came from Tehran after the weakness of its economic sectors and its inability provide much support for the Houthi coup, which explains the signs of the near collapse of the Houthi coup.
These Houthi policies have increased the suffering of the Yemeni people and prolonged the crisis. Such intransigence would drag Yemen and the region into further crises and bloodshed and would lead to create new terrorist groups, that Iran is currently seeking to establish in order to replace the Houthis if this rebel group to fell, in order to keep Yemen unsafe and a source of threat to the region, mainly the Gulf security, and the world as long as possible.
These threats, which concern the future of the region and the world, require the international community to adopt more resolute measures and policies towards the Houthi terrorist group and its main supporter, the Iranian regime and the Revolutionary Guard, by supporting the military operations of the Yemeni National Army and the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia against the Houthi militias in order to restore the legitimate government and impose its full control over the Yemeni territory before imposing Iran’s plan for the era of post-Houthi fall of forming terrorist groups and supporting them to spread in Yemen to be a source of threat to the Gulf national security and a threat to maritime navigation on the Yemeni coast and the Strait of Bab al-Mandab.
Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre
21 March 2018