Tweet from Iran's Foreign Ministry encourages Houthi recruitment of children

Tweet from Iran's Foreign Ministry encourages Houthi recruitment of children

After Houthi officials, aid workers and residents admitted that the Houthi militia in Yemen is still recruiting children for its military ranks to fight in the ongoing civil war, despite an agreement concluded with the United Nations last April To stop this practice, according to a report by the Associated Press, an old tweet was circulated by the current Iranian Foreign Minister, Amir Abdollahian, encouraging Houthi recruitment of children.

Abdullahian wrote a tweet several years ago: “The Riyadh game The new one in Yemen is destined for defeat. Ansar Allah and its allies are the most effective part of the resistance and the political solution,” while the tweet was attached to a picture of a child affiliated with the Iran-backed militia carrying a weapon.

The new game of Riyadh in Yemen is doomed to defeat. Ansar-Allah & allied are the most effective part of resistance & political solution. pic.twitter.com/FhGHFTvJX2

— H.Amirabdollahian Amirabdolahian (@Amirabdolahian) December 3, 2017

And the publication of the Iranian-American analyst Krik Sadjadpour, Abdollahian tweeted on his Twitter account, stressing that senior officials in Iran praise the effectiveness of child recruitment in Yemen, after publishing a report by Human Rights Watch, which confirmed that Iran is recruiting children in Syria.

Two Houthi officials told the Associated Press that the Houthis have recruited several hundred children , including 10-year-olds, during the past two months, and deployed them to the front lines as part of a mobilization of forces during The UN-brokered truce has held since last April.

The two Houthi officials, whom the agency described as “hardliners,” said they saw no problem with the practice, and argued that the boys aged 10 or over 12-year-olds are considered men.

One of them added: “They are not children. They are real men who should defend their nation,” as he put it.

The two officials stipulated Houthis talk with Kutman Hu They came to avoid a clash with other Houthi leaders.

The Houthis used what they call “summer camps” to spread their religious ideology and recruit boys to fight. Such camps were set up in schools and mosques throughout the areas under their control in Yemen, especially the north and center of the country and the capital, Sana’a.

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About 2,000 children recruited by the Houthis were killed On the battlefield between January 2020 and May 2021, according to UN experts.

Last April, the Houthis signed what UNICEF called an “action plan” to end and prevent this practice.

For their part, four aid workers from three international organizations working in Houthi-controlled areas said that they have noticed an intensification of Houthi efforts to recruit children in recent weeks. The Houthi ranks had weakened due to the losses on the battlefield, especially during the nearly two-year battle over the city of Ma'rib.

The relief workers spoke with the “Associated Press” on condition that their identities be concealed for fear of their safety. They explained that the Houthis pressured families to send their children to camps where they learn how to deal with weapons and plant mines in exchange for services including providing food rations from international organizations. Seeing ten-year-olds manning checkpoints on the road with Kalashnikovs slung over their shoulders. Others were sent to the front line, and some injured children returned from the fighting in Marib, according to the worker.

In a related context, two residents of Amran governorate said that Houthi representatives came to their homes in May and asked They prepare their children for camps at the end of the school year. The residents, who are farmers, spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

They said that their five children, aged between 11 and 16, were transferred in late May to a training center at a nearby school. One father said he was told that if he did not send his children, his family would not receive food rations.

Earlier this year, a UN panel of experts said the Houthis had a system for indoctrinating child soldiers. including the use of humanitarian aid to put pressure on families. Children are first taken to the centers for a month or more of religious courses. Experts also found that children at the age of seven learn to clean weapons and how to dodge missiles.