The third anniversary of the assassination of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander of the al-Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, was celebrated by Houthi militias, which sparked angry reactions among Yemenis.
Social media activists and journalists saw the celebration as a confirmation of the group’s absolute affiliation with the Iranian regime.
The Houthi militia commemorated the ceremony and erected large images of Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, head of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), in Sanaa and other cities under its control.
Sanaa residents condemned the enormity of the images, which are estimated to cost millions of Yemeni riyals, while more than 25 million Yemenis live below the poverty line.
An employee of the Public Works Office in Sanaa, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat under a pseudonym, said that the group used the giant billboards and expensive advertising spaces to prove its affiliation with Iran.
He added that people could understand had the Houthi militia erected pictures of its dead commanders of its leader, but for the third year in a row, it commemorates the killing of Soleimani.
He accused the group of wanting to use Yemen to target regional countries, spread chaos and terrorism in the region, and threaten international navigation.
Meanwhile, a Sanaa public servant, who referred to himself as Saeed, denounced the celebration, saying millions of people suffer from war, corruption, and the group’s repression.
Saeed told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthi’s celebration consolidated Iran’s hegemony over the Yemeni governorates under its control and the group’s absolute subordination to the Tehran regime.
He said it was better for the Houthi militia to respond to the demands of Yemeni employees to pay their salaries instead of using the money for such events.
Abdullah, a website editor from Sanaa, indicated that the group has become a mouthpiece that glorified the Iranian elements and incited Yemenis “to take revenge.”
Another journalist in militia-controlled areas told Asharq Al-Awsat it was shameful and disgraceful that several Yemeni cities, including Sanaa, celebrated the anniversary.
Several international reports confirmed earlier that Iranian influence in Yemen has become similar to Iranian influence in Iraq, thanks to the Houthis’ strong loyalty to Tehran.
On several occasions, the Yemeni government attacked the Houthi militia’s celebration of the anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination.
Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism Moammar al-Eryani said the Houthi militia’s commemoration of the death of Soleimani is a new confirmation of Houthi dependency and complete submission to the mullahs’ regime in Iran.
Eryani added that the Houthi militia spends hundreds of millions celebrating the symbols of Iranian terrorism, whose hands are stained with blood in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.