Yemeni activists and guest speakers launch explosive confession at UNHCR event


by Rachel Brooks

Iran provides these groups with the infrastructure, and a step-by-step guide for long time deconstruction and death…

On Monday, human rights lawyer and security analyst Irina Tsukerman, and retired U.S. military officer and Middle East security analyst Benjamin Minick, were invited to speak at the Geneva UNHCR summit on Yemeni rights. This was what became the first session of a week-long event in which the world has paused to recognize the brutality that has simmered in Yemen to a degree that will take decades to reverse, if normalization began today.

The two guest speakers from the United States were also joined by Dr. Wessam Basindwah. They detailed the collective relevance of the Yemen internal crisis to a terrorist regime, funded by radical mullahs of Iran, that now infects the world system with a sprawling extremist network.  

Tsukerman spoke first, noting the imperative need for the Arab Coalition to begin regaining lost ground in normalization efforts. 

“It is essential for the Arab Coalition and the legitimate government to make all effort on their end to show momentum in regaining ground and to start asserting the unity and legitimacy of the internationally recognized government in terms of physical control, not just on paper, in order to gain further support from the US and other potential allies,” said Tsukerman.

“It is also important to start bringing former members of the Coalition, who had left for their own reasons. or who had been playing a symbolic role to the fold in various capacities, even if not in direct combat. Houthis are not the only Iranian proxy; as we know, Iran has been engaging terrorists, separatists, militias, and insurgents all over the world in an effort to build up an integrated network of proxies working as its arms abroad. Not the least of them is Polisario in Sahara whose leaders continue paying diplomatic visits to Iran and continue receiving training from Hezbollah even after the break up between Morocco and Iran.”

Minick spoke next, describing the massive network of the Iranian radicals regime. Minick pointed to the stark realities of paramilitary mobilisation and called upon the international community to take needed steps.

“The reality of it is that there are numerous paramilitary militias that keep the entire region essentially paralyzed. The United States has provided many opportunities for our path to relax sanctions and for economic growth. But those attempts have been rebuked at every turn,” said Minick. 

“As the regime continues its quest for dominance, nuclear ambitions and eradicating Western ideals and influence continue to be the figurehead of the Iranian leadership.” 

Minick also stressed the importance of looking beyond physical borders when addressing the issue of Iranian radicals regime. He noted that indigenous groups across a vast terrain, such as the Houthi initially were, often become the target of indoctrination campaigns, are radicalized as a group, and then are militarized as a result of group radicalization.

“The Houthi started out as a people indigenous to a region. But small upstarts like the Houthi, are often selected by the regime and stoked with funding, training, and false premises to do the bidding of the regime. Iran provides these groups with the infrastructure, and a step-by-step guide for long time deconstruction and death,” said Minick. 

“Countries such as Yemen had no idea what was happening until the radicalized group was so powerful and influential that the country has all but fallen. It is up to us, as the international community, to reach out and to secure the help that is needed to counter these activities.”

Minick also noted that the Houthi rebellion and the mobilization of Hezbollah are “mirror images” of one another, despite not sharing the precise same geographic operation profile. 

Dr. Basindwah then spoke in memory of the historical September 21 Yemeni Nakba that lives in the shadow of Yemen’s deepest personal trauma. She addressed Yemen’s private hell as the world’s largest, most rapidly progressed mass mine planting site since World War II. 

“The Yemeni people aspired to freedom, social justice, democracy, stability, and the fulfillment of all the youth’s demands,” said Basindwah. 

“Until the Houthi militia returned the Yemenis to the ages of cave and darkness, stripped the Yemenis of their dreams of change and made Yemen the worst in the ranks of world countries.”

Dr. Basindwah then noted that the U.S. had made a preemptive decision when sabotaging the nuclear deal that enabled the Iranian regime to obtain cash flow for the mullah’s agenda. She demanded that Iran be classified as a terrorism financier through these mullahs, noting that Iran was not partial to the Shiite agenda, but had also been known to fund Al Qaeda. She then proceeded to detail Iran’s role in the domestic coup in Yemen, as well as Iran’s role in destabilization efforts across the global theater. 

“There are also indications of the Iranian regime’s support for the military coups, including the coup of the Houthi militia on their arm in Yemen on the legitimate authority, and there are clear indications of the Iranians ’commitment to supporting the coup, and neither the Iranians nor the Houthis are embarrassed to admit that. By force of arms and with the support of the mullahs’ regime, as the Houthis do in Yemen and Iran’s militias in Iraq and Syria, and an attempt to destabilize Bahrain,” said Dr. Basindwah. 

Dr. Basindwah likewise confirmed Tsukerman and Minick’s analysis that the Hezbollah and Houthi movements had mirror image similarity, calling them “two sides of the same coin.” 

When the session resumed, a new set of speakers met to address the use of victim-armed explosive devices that have reached unprecedented rates in Yemen, killing and maiming thousands of civilians. The speakers likened Houthi rebellion mine-planting to cancer, where mines are tumors, and the spread has reached metastasis. They likened Hodeidah to a “one giant bomb” that holds the physical elements of an entire city rigged to explode, as well as all the social elements of  a think tank of radicalized venom.

Dr. Arwa Al-Khattabi called on the international community to recognize the impact of this travesty on women and children, 

“Every time we talk about mines, for us as Yemenis, today is a black day in the history of Yemen. It is a day when all Yemenis bleed. There are more than 25 million,” said Dr. Al-Khattabi. “A Yemeni citizen is bleeding, as most children in some areas have turned into disabled people because of this terrorist militia that outperforms ISIS in its terrorist crimes committed against Yemenis. ISIS is a terrorist organization and the world warns of it within 5 years to eliminate it, but in Yemen there is complicity by the international community.”

On September 23, the panel invited Viktoria Hobinkova, assistant to the Middle East official in the Red Cross, to speak in regards to the Red Cross’ work with these exploited women and children. 

Hobinkova described the conditions of the Red Cross’ mediation, and how the service actively seeks to assist in liberating detainees of the conflict, in approved cases. The Red Cross initiates correspondence between detainees and their families. Then, they ensure that the party that is approved for Red Cross intervention is not harassed upon release. 

In a resumed session of event on September 23, Mr. Nasser Al-Qadari, President of the Dutch-Yemeni Center for Defense of Rights and Freedoms, stressed that all countries of the region would not be secure until a ban was imposed upon Iran for the use of such weapons, citing the UNHCR transcripts. Al-Qadari then invited the President of the Yemeni European House, Mansour Al-Shadaddi, to speak to this. Al-Shadaddi stated that not only had the international community grown indifferent to the violation of international accords through the use of victim-armed explosives, but also that they had become complicit to the Houthi agenda. 

“The UN office in Yemen, which is based in Sana’a and is subject to the Houthis’ agenda, is angering civil society, activists and humanitarian stakeholders,” said Al-Shadaddi. 

“Donors are providing huge and huge funds to Yemen, and the United Nations is handing over aid to the Houthis in different ways, and has given them many things that are totally incompatible with the principles and values of the international community. One of the practices of the Houthi militias is the confiscation of humanitarian aid and pressure on the world through their heinous crimes.”

Al-Shadaddi also called on the international community to recognize that current organization efforts in the region have become affiliated with negative institutions and have consequently failed to alleviate Yemen’s suffering. 

Rachel Brooks is Editor and Staff Reporter of a non-partisan Security News agency Truth UnPolished.

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