January 5, 2021
Yemeni people and officials were incensed with the Houthi militias’ spending of money and resources to hold ceremonies marking the anniversary of the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
The Houthis’ celebrating the memory of Soleimani, who commanded Iran’s Quds Force, with elaborate gatherings and excessive printing of memorial banners comes at a time the salaries of public workers are frozen in areas run by Iran-backed militias.
The streets of the Houthi-run capital, Sanaa, were flooded with posters of Soleimani and Popular Mobilization Forces deputy chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was killed in the same US drone strike as Iranian general in January 2020.
Hundreds of Houthi officials and members, joined by the Iranian “ambassador” to Sanaa Hassan Eyrlou, gathered in one of the capital’s largest mosque squares to remember Soleimani.
Yemeni activists blasted the ceremonies, strongly arguing that paying the salaries of civil servants is far more important than Soleimani and Eyrlou.
In an effort to assert Houthi loyalty to the regime in Iran, Eyrlou praised the Yemeni militias’ terror attacks against Yemenis and neighboring countries, and hailed the ties between Tehran and the militants.
“This ceremony today shows the deep ties between the two governments and people of Yemen and Iran,” he said.
Eyrlou encouraged Houthis to commit more terrorist acts, claiming that it would make the militias “more influential at the level of geopolitics in the region,” and transform it into a “major regional power.”
Yemen’s Information Minister Mammar al-Eryani slammed the Houthis for celebrating the memory of a terrorist whose hands are stained with the blood of innocents across the region.
“The terrorist Houthi militia is spending hundreds of millions to celebrate symbols of Iranian terrorism, whose hands are stained with the blood of innocents in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, at a time when millions of citizens in Houthi-run areas are starving,” he said.