JEDDAH: The leader of the Houthi militia, Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, says the US is responsible for the spread of AIDS and cancer in Yemen, while also calling on people to ditch the ceremonial sword and national atire in favor of western clothes – a claim which has been met with scorn and mockery across social media in the country.
Speaking on a video from his hideout in Saada, Al-Houthi, made his unsupported claims on the anniversary of the death of the group’s figurehead Hussein Badreddin Al-Houthi.
“The Americans have done all they could to spread AIDS in Yemen, and they have even promoted it to the extent that the disease has been widely featured in newspapers,” Al-Houthi said.
Al-Houthi went on to claim that the US was also fighting to undermine traditional Yemeni attire to stop men carrying daggers, encouraging students, politicians and social elites to shun such items in favor of pants and other forms of Western dress.
But various Yemeni social media users were less than impressed by Al-Houthi’s claims, with several openly mocking him.
Ali Al-Bukhaiti tweeted: “Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi's speech yesterday is the stupidest, and it will be a stain and a backwardness on the group, with what he carried of stupid and funny heresy”
Abdul-Nasser Al-Mamlouh, editor-in-chief of Yemen Today, tweetd: “The US has encouraged the students, elite and politicians in Yemen to wear pants instead of wearing daggers! This stupidity should be published in all languages so that the entire world can realize the size of the calamity the Houthis left in Yemen.”
Abdurrahman Jaber tweeted: “The Houthis are simultaneously attacking KSA, Marib, launching a war in Taiz, burning African refugees in Sanaa and planting more mines on Yemeni soil. In such a time, the Houthi leader comes out to say that wearing pants is a US conspiracy.”