By Mohammed al-Abssi for National Yemen
Al-Houthi conflicts have expanded dramatically from Sa’ada (Damaaj), to Haja (Karash), Ibb G. Al-Radmah, Anas Dhamar, Harad, al-Hazam al-Jawf, Arhab Sana’a, Hashid Amran, and Hamdan Sana’a. There have also been small clashes in Taiz and sometimes
Sana’a. Al-Houthi is the most powerful sectarian group in Yemen and it enjoys strong support all over the country. It has also been accused of financing by Iranian groups.
While this remains to be seen, it is worth comparing today’s fighting with that which occurred in Lebanon during the early 1990’s. When the Lebanese military killed seven protesters loyal to Hizb’Allah near al-Koula bridge, during a rally in support of the Palestinian cause, Hizb’Allah did not react like Al-Houthi does now, inciting retaliation against the military. They buried their dead and did not seek to organize against the state.
Why? Because they aimed to maintain the social and community stability. In his speech, Hassan Nasir Allah, in the last ten days of the past Ramadan, recalled the incident of al-Koula bridge. He reiterated that it was a wise decision, despite the availability of weapons and the readiness of his party to fight for revenge. I wish this scenario would happen with al-Houthi groups too
Despite their support and fighting in Syria, the weapons they have, and the general theory of being a government within the official government, the historical fact still very clear that Hizb’Allah is mostly against Israel and is not sectarian and against Lebanese groups. Overall the party does not fight the state and military. For instance, once they decided to reject the Prime Minister’s decree on a telecom network, their loyalists did not seize control of the city. Nasir Allah requested the military to take its responsibility. It was smart.
Here in Yemen, the opposite exists with Al-Houthi affiliates. Houthis never end a war without bringing one somewhere else, sensing that interests have opened up. In military clashes, mostly for the past two years, that they are the victims and cite that they have lost their people. Even with remarkable expansion, they still claim to be acting in self defense!
With the exception of fighting in Syria, and some fighting against Israel, Houthis fight locally and nearly all over their victims all Yemenis. While Hizb’Allah has freed southern Lebanon from Israeli control, they are still not totally sectarian. It is only al-Houthi that carries the slogan “death for Israel,” a country they are not even actively fighting. It’s too bad for the Yemeni corpses, and is also bad for the Jews who were thrown out of Sa’ada by Ali Abdullah Saleh’s bad state. The answer is now a definitive “no” to whether or not they can go back.
Hizb’Allah also doesn’t have standard propaganda that hangs in its areas, while the Houthis do, which is sectarian. Yemen cannot be that way, it is an open area and it is not defined for any particular group. All live together in the cities and villages. Houthis can benefit from this in building a national movement, but they are doing the opposite, which makes people begin criticizing each other for their social and religious practices.
We are sick of these deceitful and divisive campaigns, and praise the better attitudes among activists who are based in the West, especially when they protest against American drones in Yemen. Once again, the words of Fara’a al-Maslami, and the late Ibrahim Mouthan, are relevant. In Yemen, you need a different language than kalashnikovs, and discussion is the only solution for ending grievances between parties.