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LATEST UPDATES Reports reveal deal to seize cities as Security Council prepares for Yemen sanctions :: Houthi militants attack checkpoint killing officer, soliders in central Yemen :: JMP: No government participation if factions not equally represented in Yemen :: Yemeni factions to hold Brussels conference to salvage transition accomplishments :: Dozens of Houthi killed in two days in AQAP Yemen stronghold :: Situation remains tense in Yemen Ibb city :: New Saudi envoy reveals aid to Yemen as kingdom warns of threats :: Houthi militants committed 52 violations against media in month, Foundation says :: At least 20 Houthis killed in clashes, car bomb in AQAP stronghold :: Yemenis give Houthi militants 48 hours to leave port city of Hodeida ::
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INTERVIEW
Last updated: 10:20:51 PM GMT(+03) Saturday, 10, April, 2010
 
 
Ahmed Al-Bahri
Expert in Houthi Affairs

 

 
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 Hakim Almasmari
Interviewed by Hakim Almasmari
YEMEN POST STAFF

How were Houthis able to reach the power they have now?
The government in the beginning supported the Believing Youth group, and left them for a long time to buy weapons and gather followers, so they were able to reached their current power. Also, the government’s mistakes made thousands go against it.

Were Houthis collecting weapons by the government’s fund?
Houthis were buying weapons through governmental and nongovernmental fund, this is widely known. The Yemeni government supported the Houthi movement against the Salafi stream, in the begining.

But the Houthi’s today confront two mighty countries, how could it reach such power?
If you noticed the first war between the Yemeni army and Houthis, the government within months killed the Houthi’s leader, Hussain Al-Houthi. But the daily sufferings in Yemen and the weak economic circumstances helped Houthis regain their power. However, the lack of security and dominance by the state in some areas made the Houthi movement work in collecting their powers by gathering weapons. Meanwhile, there is foreign unidentified support for Houthis; even though Yemen and KSA couldn’t provide proof of that.

Do you deny the Iranian support?
No one can deny Iranian support for Houthis.

Do you think that Al-Haq Party members support Al-Houthi?
I don’t think that Al-Haq Party supports Houthis, but the Houthi was a member of the Haq Party. He then left the party and joined the General People Congress (GPC). If there is any links between the Party and Houthis it is approached by people in the party but not the party itself.

Are Al-Haq Party’s leaders contacting Houthi leaders?
Yes there is contact between Houthi leaders and Haq party members. Perhaps I can’t state who they are, but there is no direct support link between Al-Haq Party and Houthis.

Where do you see Sa’ada war after one year?
The Yemeni scene in general, Sa’ada war, Qaeda, the economical and political situations, if no resolution will be provided within the few coming weeks, the country will collapse. Sa’ada war will only be solved if dialogue takes place, whether now or later. It will not end by the use of force. Previous wars have shown that, even the Afghanistan and Iraq experiences showed that the war solution is not the way in solving crises.
According to your sources, How many followers does Houthi have now?
The number of Houthi followers, whether loyalists or fighters are between 100,000 to 120,000.

The Yemeni government says that Houthis are witnessing their last breath, is that true?
We have been hearing that since the begining of the war and now the war has been ongoing for more than five months with the Yemeni army, and more than a month and half with Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, we see that Houthis rule different positions and have more weapons, they are still in their bloom power, opening a new front with Saudi Arabia is evidence of their might.

Al-Haq Party is loyal to Houthi leaders, what is your comment on that?
If there is loyalty or relations between Al-Haq Party and Houthis there is nothing to ban this because some leaders of the party have had relations with them even before the war even started. Also, we have to put in mind that Houthis are Yemenis not foreigners, which means we still have to deal with them in the future no matter the outcome.

 

 

 

 


 

Hakim Almasmari is an American journalist and Middle East expert based in Sana'a, Yemen. His work has appeared for many of the worlds top media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Washington Post, AlJazeera, Fox News, The Guardian, The National, USA Today among numerous others. He has also worked with some of the world’s top organizations. Reporting out of Yemen for nearly eight years, he is the current editor in chief for the Yemen Post. He is a university lecturer in the field of international media and also studied business and law. Considered one of the top experts on Yemen, Almasmari has closely worked with international strategic centers and think tanks helping them better understand Yemen. He is a frequent guest on many international TV outlets discussing current local and international affairs. Almasmari is originally from Detroit, Michigan, and speaks English and Arabic.

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Source: Yemen Post Newspaper
 
 
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