Al-Houthi demands the overthrow of the Yemeni government
The Houthi leader, AbdulMalikal-Houthi, this week has denounced efforts toward reconstruction in Yemen’s war-torn North and has called recent initiatives a failure, saying that they are “returning the Saada situation to what it was before 2004.”
But the Houthis have escalated their rhetorical battle against the state, as al-Houthi, leader of militant “believing youth” organization, has rejoiced at the misfortune of the President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the wake of increasing protests which call on him to resign.
Despite the fact that a Qatari delegation visited the area ten days ago to complete and supervise the execution of the peace treaty in the Yemeni North, al-Houthi did not express his confidence in the current peace, but instead rushed to threaten the State in case it wages a seventh war against his group.
“The result will be grievous for the state, which will suffer decay, failure, and defeat,” he said.
Observers noted that al-Houthi’s harsh speech has introduced the possibility of a seventh war, which the state has not seriously countenanced.
The Houthis’ leader warned that there all the signs of imminent disaster are present, as the State has recently been in a critical situation, not only with the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the continued activities of Southern Movement.
“But now there is escalation of youth demonstrations, which not only call for fundamental reforms, but the overthrew of the system, as happened in Tunis and Egypt.”
Last Tuesday, the Houthis celebrated the memory of the Prophet’s birthday much as they used to celebrate it in past years, though attendance this year was more than during last year’s celebrations.
Sources close to the Houthi group estimated the attendance at nearly half million, but neutral observers expressed their belief that this number was exaggerated.
Estimates from a wide range of governorates from which attendees arrived indicates that the total number reached more than one hundred thousand. In addition to Saada governorate, people have come from Hajja, Amran, Al-Jawf, Marib, Sana’a, al-Mahweet, Dhamar, and al-Baida.
In his speech, al-Houthi called all Yemeni people to go out to overthrow the system as in Tunis and Egypt. He said, “We will be in the front as the people demonstrate.
He remarked, “If the people mobilize too late, they will regret it.”
The celebration was held in the area around the al-Hariba Fort, a few kilometers away from Dhahian town to the north of Saada. After strict security procedures were put in place, the Houthis manned checkpoints and examined IDs of people entering Saada, anticipating possible attacks against them from Al-Qaeda.
Two explosions occurred during against the Houthis during the “al-Ghadeer” Shi’ite holiday some months ago, which left dozens killed.
Another explosion occurred during the funeral of al-Houthi’s father. Al-Qaeda claimed these two explosions and it claimed that Badr al-Din al-Houthi was in fact killed in one of these explosions.
Before the Prophet’s birthday, an intensive exchange of fire happened between many inhabitants and armed men from the Houthi factions after some citizens began removing graffiti on their property which encouraged people to attend the birthday ceremony.
No injuries have been recorded between the two parties. The exchange of fire continued for many hours but “the tribal alliance of Saada citizens” hastened to support them against the Houthi fighter.
They provided them with three Toyota vehicles loaded with armed tribesmen prepared to face the Houthis. During the same day, the local authorities intervened to mediate the conflict and the gun battle prominently stopped.