Photo Credit: Free image by Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images
A Yemeni boy poses with a Kalashnikov assault rifle during a gathering of newly-recruited Houthi fighters in the capital Sanaa, May 18, 2019.

UN experts on Saturday issued a report suggesting that close to 2,000 children who had been recruited by Iran’s Yemenite Houthi proxy terror group were killed in battle between January 2020 and May 2021. According to the same report, the Iranian-backed militia continues to recruit children and train them in its camps.

The report to the UN Security Council that was circulated on Saturday follows an investigation by the experts of summer camps, schools, and a mosque where the Houthis recruited children to fight in their seven-year war against the legitimate Yemenite government which is backed by the Saudi-led coalition of Arab states.


The four-member panel of experts said the child soldiers are taught to shout, “Death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory to Islam.”

“In one camp, children as young as 7 years of age were taught to clean weapons and evade rockets,” the panel reported.

The panel possesses a list of 1,406 children who were recruited by the Houthis and died on the battlefield in 2020 and another list of 562 child recruits who died on the battlefield between January and May 2021. Their ages ranged between 10 and 17 years.

The panel has documented 10 cases where children who were enrolled in Houthi cultural courses ended up being sent to fight in battles and were killed. The battlefields where Houthi children dies were Amran, Dhamar, Hajjah, Hodeida, Ibb, Saada, and Sanaa. In nine cases, humanitarian aid to families was conditioned on whether their children participated in the fighting. In one case sexual violence was committed against a child who had been enrolled in military training.

The 303-page report says violations of international humanitarian and human rights law are “the norm rather than the exception” in the Yemen conflict, with arbitrary arrests and detentions, disappearances, torture, and ill-treatment “committed by all parties.”


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