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New defections predicted from Houthi ranks

Leading General People’s Congress official Dr. Abdullah al-Hamedi, who had defected from the Iran-backed Houthi militias’ government, predicted that more Yemeni figures will abandon the group, Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Monday.

He said: “Defection has intensified in recent days and more is yet to come by officials who occupy senior posts in the Houthi government.”

“Others like myself who have quit are proud of their action. Our arrival in Riyadh will pave the way for a wider confrontation against the militias,” he vowed.

The victories of the national army and resistance, backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition, have created confusion in the Houthi ranks, leading them to go so far as to recruit 12-year-olds to their cause, he remarked.

Moreover, Hamedi said that the Houthis themselves do not head to the battlefield, but they send their sons. They cower in fear in caves, dragging innocent people to war.

“The Houthis have started to seize control of schools in order to force students to head to the battlefronts,” he warned. 

They first start by luring the children with money in exchange for lessons on Houthi teachings. They are then plied with drugs so that they could yield to the militias’ demands. Afterwards, they are sent to battle where their drug supply is continued, he revealed.

He described as “dangerous” the violations against children’s rights in Yemen, which could lead to a crisis in the future, calling for United Nations agencies to intervene.