Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the head of Yemen’s Shiite Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee, asserted on Monday that the Chinese coronavirus “is created by the U.S.”
Al-Houthi’s proclamation, for which he added no verifiable information, follows similar claims by Iranian and Chinese officials that the virus, which originated in Wuhan and first began infecting people in November, was somehow manufactured in an American laboratory. Chinese government media outlets have gone as far as to accuse a U.S. Army facility in Maryland of creating the virus, without evidence and no explanation for how the virus traveled across the world without infecting anyone.
The Houthi Shiite movement controls much of Yemen – including the capital, Sana’a – and has been attempting to wrest control from the legitimate government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who enjoys the support of the government of Saudi Arabia. The Shiite government of Iran has lent its support to the Houthis, creating a proxy war situation since the civil war began in 2015 that has led to a dire humanitarian crisis.
The Houthis are a jihadist organization whose slogan is “God Is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, a Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam.”
“Coronavirus is created by the US, and those killing the Yemeni nation with their weapons feel no compunction about killing Yemenis at a lower cost,” al-Houthi reportedly posted to his Twitter account Monday, according to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency. “The US, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies must accept responsibility for the consequences of outbreak of the coronavirus in Yemen and also for the consequences of war and blockade.”
In other remarks published by the Iranian state Mehr News Agency, al-Houthi also implied that the United States and Saudi Arabia were deliberately allowing flights to land in Yemen to spread the disease.
“He pointed out that allowing four commercial planes to reach Yemen with a total of 1,000 passengers is a dirty tactic by the US-Saudi aggression, while only two flights have been allowed per week since the beginning of the aggression. He explained that sometimes months pass by without allowing any flights to land in Yemen,” Mehr relayed.
“After killing the people of Yemen with weapons Saudi-led aggression will not refrain from killing them at the lowest cost with viruses,” al-Houthi reportedly said. “The countries leading the aggression, deliberately, in the occupied territories, don’t take any precautionary, emergency or quarantine measures.”
Mehr noted that the conspiracy theory that Saudi Arabia and the United States are attempting to flood Yemen with Chinese coronavirus carriers is not new and that at the beginning of the month, other Yemen officials had claimed that they had evidence that anti-Houthi forces were attempting to send carriers into the country through the port city of Aden, where Hadi’s government has been exiled to.
Contrary to the Houthis’ claims, the Hadi government, which is backed by the alleged conspirators to spread the virus in the country, moved to suspend all flights into and out of Yemen for two weeks beginning on Wednesday. On Saturday, when the government revealed the new policy, the Houthis demanded more restrictions on distributing life-saving humanitarian aid in the country.
While Yemen has no documented Chinese coronavirus patients, it has endured an extensive famine as a product of the civil war between the government and the Houthis, one exacerbated by Houthi jihadists blocking aid into the country. The result has been the creation of a country in which the vast majority of people are reliant on humanitarian aid to live, but tons of food rot in ports because the Houthis block aid workers from distributing it.
The Houthi movement joins the governments of Iran and China in claiming the virus is somehow an American invention. While al-Houthi did not go into any specifics as to how Washington is somehow responsible for a virus originating in China, Beijing has been more specific.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lijian Zhao floated the possibility that the United States created the novel coronavirus in a biological weapons lab last week. The Global Times, a Chinese government publication, later accused a U.S. army facility in Maryland as having been the original home of the Wuhan virus.
In Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last week that “there is evidence” that the Chinese virus is a military attack by unspecified enemies, but did not divulge any of the alleged evidence. Iranian military officials similarly claimed that the outbreak was a “biological attack,” specifically implicating the United States and “Zionists” for its creation.
In reality, the virus had never before been identified in human beings until November 17, 2019, in Wuhan, China. There is no evidence of the virus existing anywhere else before that day.
“It absolutely came from Wuhan,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, confirmed last week. “There’s no doubt about that.”