TEL AVIV — A militant with the Iran-supported Houthi militia in Yemen has reportedly admitted that he and others underwent weapons training and ideological indoctrination by the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah before being sent to fight in Yemen.
The media center run by the Yemenite army released a video clip on Tuesday showing two Houthi prisoners recalling how they were recruited to fight in the ranks of the pro-Iranian militia.
One of the two, Zakariya Awada, recalled how he had been given military training two months ago in the Sahawaba region in the Sanaa district before being sent into battle by the Houthis. He said that the fighters who participated also attended ideological workshops. According to Awada, the military and ideological training was given by specialists from Hezbollah.
The second prisoner, Abdullah al-Asati, said that he was tricked by the Houthis, who convinced him to go to the ideological workshops before finding himself on the battle front within just a few days, with the Houthis telling him that he was fighting to defend the homeland. According to al-Asati, the ideological workshops were given by Hezbollah members.
He also claimed that he thought the ideological workshops were full of misrepresentations and lies. He recounted how his friend became a victim of the Houthi’s propaganda campaign, for which he feels sorrow and remorse. Al-Asati called on his friends not to believe the Houthis.
The Al Arabiya website reported that the Houthis have begun an expansive campaign in recent months to recruit school children and street youth.
The Yemenite army’s media center said that the prisoners’ confessions are additional proof of the Iranian government’s involvement in supporting the Houthis by supplying weapons and military advice.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah last November firmly denied the claims by Saudi Arabia and others in the Arab world that his terrorist organization has done Iran’s bidding and sent fighters and specialists to help the Houthis. Nasrallah claimed in the same speech that his organization has no presence in Yemen, and claims to the contrary are intended to discredit the Houthis fighting against Saudi hegemony in Yemen.