Yemen’s Houthis Launch Fundraising Campaign for Hezbollah

Huthi rebels stand at attention at the Saleef port on May 11, 2019, in the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, ahead of their withdrawal. - A senior pro-government official in Yemen accused Huthi rebels of faking an announced pullout Saturday from three Red Sea ports, as a UN source said …
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Iranian-backed Shiite Houthis in Yemen recently launched a fundraising campaign for Hezbollah after an unprecedented wave of U.S. sanctions reportedly limited Tehran’s ability to continue funding it, the Long War Journal (LWJ) reported this week.

Houthi members and supporters are donating money to support Hezbollah and Iran’s “axis of resistance” as people across Yemen, including territory controlled by the Shiite rebels, face starvation, deadly preventable diseases, and deteriorating infrastructure.

The United Nations considers the situation in Yemen to be the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe fueled by the ongoing civil war between the Shiite Iranian-backed Houthis and the Sunni Saudi Arabia-backed forces loyal to the internationally-recognized government that has killed more than 70,000 since it began in March 2015.

On Monday, LWJ, a component of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) think tank, reported:

Since beginning a pledge drive to help procure funds for the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah almost two weeks ago, social media linked to Yemen’s Houthi insurgent movement have released several photos and videos showing the progress of the campaign.

On May 24, Sam FM, a Houthi-ran radio station based in Sana’a, announced that it began a pledge campaign to donate funds to Lebanese Hezbollah. The radio station said on its Telegram channel that this drive is “to support the mujahideen masters in this world, the purest of people, Hezbollah.”

Hamoud Mohammad Sharaf, the director of Sam FM, reportedly told another Houthi-ran media outlet that the drive is intended to “strengthen the axis of resistance” and that it “represents a surprising and painful blow to the Zionist entity, the enemy of the Arab and Islamic nation.”

Iran considers U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia to be its top regional foes.

In 2018, Forbes designated the Lebanese-based Hezbollah the wealthiest terrorist group in the world with an annual income of $1.1 billion, generated primarily by “aid funding from Iran, drug manufacture and trade.”

Iran’s narco-terrorist proxy is heavily involved in lucrative drug trade and money laundering activities in the Western Hemisphere, particularly Latin America, according to the U.S Department of State (DOS) and military.

Even as Iranian leaders complain about the impact of the U.S. sanctions imposed on their tottering economy by American President Donald Trump’s administration, DOS reported in November 2018 that the Islamic Republic spends nearly $1 billion on terrorist groups annually, including $700 million alone on Hezbollah. However, the Washington Post reported in May of this year that Trump sanctions have significantly curbed Tehran’s ability to continue funding Hezbollah.

The Post noted that sanctions have decreased Iranian revenue by $10 billion since last November.

Since announcing the fundraiser campaign on May 24, the pro-Houthi radio station Sam FM, through the encrypted Telegram messaging app, has reportedly disseminated dozens of photos and videos purportedly showing support for the effort among the Yemeni people as well as the general progress of the campaign.

LWJ noted that “one set of pictures appears to show a Lebanese supporter, presumably a member of Hezbollah’s media apparatus, at a Hezbollah cemetery in Lebanon.”

Both Iran and Hezbollah group have provided support to the Houthis in their fight against the Saudi and Emirati-backed coalition, which has been trying to restore the internationally-recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi with the help of the United States.

While the Houthis continue to control most of the northeastern territory in and around the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), considered by the United States to be one of the most potent branches of the international terrorist group, has conquered the vast majority of southern Yemen.

The Saudi and Emirati-led coalition controls the rest, mainly swathes of territory in the West.

Iran’s regional foe Saudi Arabia borders Yemen. Some reports have suggested the Houthis, who are known to carry attacks into Saudi Arabia, have gained control of territory within the Sunni kingdom.

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