Houthi Ansar Allah Movement Creates ‘People’s Army’ Of Tribesmen To Fight Against Israel

November 21, 2023

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On November 16, 2023, the Houthi Ansar Allah movement in the Dhamar Governorate in western Yemen held a “people’s show of force” at a ceremony to mark the completion of the first training course of the newly-established Al-Aqsa Flood force. The name is the same as that chosen by Hamas for the October 7 operation it perpetrated against Israeli communities and army bases. According to Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi, a member of the Houthi Ansar Allah movement Supreme Political Council, who spoke at the ceremony, this first group is intended to be the “nucleus of the people’s army” which will prove the readiness and willingness of the Yemeni people to play an active part in the struggle for “the liberation of Palestine.” The military parade was held two days after Houthi leader 'Abd Al-Malik Badr Al-Din Al-Houthi delivered a speech via video at a ceremony in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, to mark the annual memorial day for Houthi martyrs.  In his speech he said that, “hundreds of thousands of freemen and courageous jihadi fighters from among our people” are prepared to leave and to assist Gaza if the neighboring countries will permit “ground access so that they will be able to reach Palestine… for direct confrontation with the Zionist enemy.”[1] Most of the participants in the first course, which one source estimates at 10,000 operatives, are members of the tribes in the Dhamar Governorate and Al-Houthi claimed that every one of them brought his own weapons and personal equipment. Also present at the ceremony were two advisers to the Houthi Supreme Political Council, Muhammad Miftah, the sheikh Muhammad Hussein Al-Maqdashi, the governor of the Dhamar Governorate Muhammad Nasr Al-Bukhaiti, and Nasser Al-Lakumi, who is responsible for the administration of the general mobilization within the Ministry of Defense, in whose framework this force was established. The Houthi media did not provide additional details about the participants in the training course, however, photographs it released show that several hundred people – armed with medium and light weapons – participated in the military display.

Houthi Official At Parade: This Is The Nucleus Of The People’s Army That Will Participate In The Struggle Against Israel

During the parade Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi said, “We have heard much mocking of the heroes who participated in this course. These loyal and courageous men who are participating in this parade… the people’s army whose beginnings are here in Dhamar was established to protect the faith and the values and the holy places… Today, the sons of Dhamar are readying themselves. This is the first group and with the help of Allah many others will follow so that we will be ready for the challenge… Today we are confronting the enemy face-to-face… We congratulate these heroes, who have completed the course and say to the Americans and the Israelis… Yemen will not follow your instructions, Yemen will listen to your threats… Love of Palestine, love of Al-Aqsa are rooted in our souls, our hearts and our minds. We study the Quranic culture and it encourages us to continue and teaches us who our enemies are who always lie and lie…

“Residents of Dhamar, we congratulate you for your sons who have completed the course and will be an important source for the nucleus of the people’s army that is readying itself, as the leader said [for the moment when] they will open the path for us and he called on our neighbors to clear the way for us so that these heroes can join hundreds of thousands of others…”

According to Al-Houthi, the country does not bear the cost of the volunteers’ equipment: “They are the sons of the Yemeni people who prepare their own equipment, the country or the country’s army do not have to give them a thing, everyone who participated in the parade today brought his weapons from his home. We are always proud that our tribes are like military camps, the Yemeni tribes are armed with weapons, with faith, with values, and with the spirit of jihad for the sake of Allah…”[2]

Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi with a machinegun at the parade (Source: Telegram.me/YEMEN_RMC_21, November 16, 2023)

Cars that drove in the parade bearing placards with Houthi slogans. The slogans on the right read: “Allah is the greatest; death to America; death to Israel, cursed be the Jews, victory to Islam;” the poster on the left depicts the symbol of the general mobilization administration (Source: Telegram.me/YEMEN_RMC_21, November 16, 2023)

A photograph from the ceremony for the completion of the first course ((Source: Telegram.me/YEMEN_RMC_21, November 16, 2023)

A photograph from the ceremony for the completion of the first course ((Source: Telegram.me/YEMEN_RMC_21, November 16, 2023)

Media That Support Axis Of Resistance: Houthis Are Preparing For Direct Ground Combat With Israel

Media that support the axis of resistance headed by Iran and Hizbullah, of which the Houthis are also a part, praised the creation of the people’s army and described it as part of the Houthi preparations for direct confrontation with Israel.

An article published in the pro-Hizbullah, Lebanese Al-Akhbar daily, stated that “Sana’a does not suffice with assistance to the Palestinian people and its resistance, with aerial attacks deep in the Israeli entity, or with monitoring its shipping vessels and its army to attack them if they enter the territorial waters of Yemen in the Red Sea and the Bab Al-Mandab Strait,[3] but they have begun to prepare for a possible military ground confrontation on the lands of occupied Palestine, despite the continuation of the restrictions [imposed by] the Arab countries through which the Yemenis may reach Palestine. Several days after the leader of the Ansar Allah movement 'Abd Al-Malik Al-Houthi promised to send tens of thousands of Yemeni fighters to help the resistance in the Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Defense in Sana’a started the process of establishing a people’s force for mobilization and assistance with the great military parade in the city of Dahmar to mark the conclusion of the first training course for volunteers to the Al-Aqsa Flood forces.”

Senior Yemeni sources, one of whom is described as “close to the Ministry of Defense,” told Al-Akhbar that this group, which comprises 10,000 operatives, is the nucleus of “the forces of mobilization and assistance” and we expect additional courses in the various governorates under Houthi control. The sources said that there is significant willingness on the part of the Yemeni public to fight alongside the Palestinian resistance. They added that these forces will maintain a high level of readiness and training “until all the obstacles are overcome that are preventing their participation in the fighting against the occupation army.”[4]

The Sons of the Leaders of Victory Telegram channel, which supports Iran-backed militias, posted a message which says that Yemen is, “The first Arab country to declare the establishment of a people’s army for the purpose of the confrontation with Israel. It invited the Yemeni tribes to volunteer and mobilize.” The channel noted that according to its sources, “Yemen is prepared to establish an army of a million fighters within a month in order to assist Gaza.”[5]

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