Al Houthis step up recruitment of child soldiers

Militia ‘imposing lectures of its leader on schoolboys’

Aden: Al Houthis have stepped up the recruitment of child fighters, picking young boys from schools and orphanages in the capital Sana’a, which is controlled by the extremist militia, several media reported, including the London-based daily Al Sharq Al Awsat.

Educationists in Sana’a, speaking on the condition of anonymity for security reasons, told Al Sharq Al Awsat on Thursday that “in the previous two weeks, the militia has stepped up its recruitment among schoolboys in Sana’a, and extended the recruitment [drive] to Hajjah, Mahweet, Dhamar, and Raymah”.

The militia “imposes on the boys the lectures of its leader Abdul Malek Al Houthi and audio records that call for jihad”, said the sources.

The sources said the militia “lately stepped up their recruitment inside orphanages they control, through rousing songs and ideological lectures. They indoctrinate the students intellectually and religiously before taking them to military recruitment camps.”

At the beginning of this school year, the Sports Minister in Al Houthis’ self-proclaimed government Hassan Zaid had called for the closure of all schools and sending all the students to fight against the legitimate government.

In a Facebook post, he said: “What if the schools close for a year and all the students and their teachers go to military (training camps)? Won’t we be able to supply the warfronts with hundreds of thousands of fighters and be able to fully win the battle?”


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