Official Houthi said that head of the militias Abdul Malek al-Houthi sent a cable to the Iranian leadership and its militias in Iraq to offer his condolences over the death of Soleimani. (AFP)

January 4, 2020

The Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen were unsurprisingly angered by the assassination of commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, in a US airstrike in Baghdad on Friday.

They vowed to avenge his death, calling for targeting American bases in the region.

Official Houthi sources said that head of the militias Abdul Malek al-Houthi sent a cable to the Iranian leadership and its militias in Iraq to offer his condolences over the death of Soleimani and deputy chief of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces Abou Mahdi al-Mouhandis.

He eulogized the Iranian “martyr”, describing him as a “great knight of the ummah.”

The blood of the victims “will not go to waste,” he added.

Houthi vowed that his militias will continue to stand by the Iranian regime and its regional proxies, warning that American strikes are targeting “those fighting for dignity, independence and freedom against American and Israeli arrogance.”

The third-in-command in the militias, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi called for “quick and decisive” retaliation to Soleimani’s assassination, offering his condolences to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khameni and President Hassan Rouhani.

The so-called Houthi politburo issued a statement condemning Soleimani’s death as a “war crime against the ummah, resistance and Palestinian cause.”

It urged the “peoples of the region” to expel “the American occupier.”

Activists in Yemen predicted that the Houthi militias would commit new terrorist crimes in the region to avenge Soleimani’s death. They did not rule out the possibility that they would resort to launching missiles and drones against neighboring countries and to attacking oil tankers in the southern Red Sea.

The Houthis have long denied receiving any military aid from Iran, but international probes and seized arms shipments have proven otherwise.

Iran last year also recognized a Houthi-appointed official as Yemen’s ambassador to Tehran.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.