Iran-allied Houthi militias in Yemen sent several of its hardline clerics to the West coast and Hodeidah provinces, hoping that religious fatwas issued by them will aid in recruiting more Yemenis to fight among coup ranks.

After suffering a shortfall in the number of fighters on battlefronts, the Houthi political wing ordered the full recruitment of all supporters and their dispatch to frontlines.

In the meantime, militias responded to Brigadier Tariq Saleh’s call to unite Yemenis against the Iran-backed coup with more brutality in areas under their control.

Houthis issued more death sentences against opponents, intensified campaigns of detention and kidnapping in Sanaa, Hodeidah and Dhamar, aiming to provoke fear among citizens should they decide to heed Saleh’s call, switch sides and join pro-government forces.

Resorting to sectarian discourse, Houthis urged the issuing of fatwas calling for fighting on the West coast.

In sermons given at mosques in Hodeidah and its subordinate districts, clerics underscored to the masses the need to rally up behind the militias and confront government forces.

Houthi endowments and guidance agent Salih al-Khulani called for preachers in mosques and imams in the Zaydiyah district north of Hodeidah to push people to fight among coup ranks, glorifying the idea of death in service of the group and exploiting Islamic creed, local sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

According to sources, Houthi chief Abdul Malek al-Houthi sent one of his close relatives and prominent clerics Abdul Majid al-Houthi to one of Hodeidah’s largest districts, Bajil. He tasked him with spreading fatwas calling for Houthi-styled “jihad” and glorifying death in battle.

“Those who do not respond to the call have an invalid Islam– all his good deeds are unaccepted by God,” sources said the cleric preached at a Hodeidah mosque.

He went on to warn against divine punishment that would befall those who do not heed the call to support Houthi war efforts whether in blood or funds.

Meanwhile, in the town of Hajjah, Houthi militias punished inmates held at the city’s central prison.

Prisoners, against their will, were forced to attend a ceremony organized by Houthi militiamen celebrating the anniversary of the advent of Iranian influence to Yemen. At the ceremony militiamen forced prisoners to perform the “Khomeini cry,” which was introduced to ultra-hardline Houthi communities in Yemen 16 years ago.

Houthis brought hundreds of prisoners to the prison’s yard, where they forced inmates to chant the “Khomeini cry” amid reports of efforts to recruit convicts and dispatch them to frontlines, Hajjah security sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

On Saturday, a court in Houthi-run Sanaa issued four death sentences against citizens, accusing them of supporting the pro-government forces and institutions, such as the Yemeni army, the Popular Resistance and the Arab Coalition.

The court accused the four of espionage and providing intelligence, which helped in the targeting of Houthi sites, camps and weapons caches in Sanaa.

Source » aawsat