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HOUTHI MOVEMENT supporters shout slogans as they attend a rally to mark the fourth anniversary of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen’s war, in Sana’a, Yemen, on March 26..(Photo by: REUTERS)
Houthi rebels raise close to $300,000 for cash-strapped Hezbollah
Despite a starving population, the Iranian-backed Yemeni rebel group continues to raise money for Lebanon's Hezbollah.
A radio station broadcasting in support of the Houthi rebels in war-torn Yemen has raised close to $300,000 in fund raising campaign for Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which is facing increasing financial pressure from American sanctions on Iran.

The radio station, Sam FM, published a video on Twitter over the weekend showing the director-general of the station, Hamoud Mohammad Sharaf, with bundles of cash alongside three other men chanting “From Yemen, the faith to Lebanon’s resistance, salute to the well-being of Yemen,” “Death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews.”

The funds would “support, aid and assist the resistance in Lebanon,” SAM FM said in a statement published alongside the video.

According to a report in The National, SAM FM said that Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi “will deliver the proceeds of the campaign to [Hezbollah secretary-general] Hassan Nasrallah, on behalf of the campaign’s management and all those involved.”

The funds raised are in addition to an additional $120,000 raised from a campaign launched in April.

Last year a delegation of Houthi rebels led by the group’s spokesman Mohamad Abdelsalam met with Nasrallah in Lebanon to discuss the latest developments of Yemen’s civil war.

While Israel believes that Iran has begun to build missile factories in the Yemen, Tehran denies interfering in Yemen despite their support for the Houthi rebels. Nevertheless, Tehran is believed to have sent Hezbollah militants to the war-torn country to train the rebels.

Israeli officials have said that Iran is providing funding to the IRGC’s Quds Forces in Syria, Hezbollah, Shi’ite militias in Iraq and Houthi militias in Yemen as well as Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza at a cost of $2.5 billion a year.

But due to the latest round of American sanctions targeting Iran’s oil revenue, Hezbollah is concerned that their annual income from Tehran, around $700 million, will stop. Nasrallah has appealed for donations, setting up a foundation called “Support for the Resistance” and the group has begun cutting the salaries of its fighters.

Yemen has been gripped by violence since September 2014, when the Houthi rebels stormed the capital of Sanaa and forced the internationally recognized government to flee south.

The Saudi-led coalition began bombing raids on Houthi positions across Yemen in March 2015 in support of Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and has since been accused of bombing schools, markets, hospitals and other civilian targets.

According to data collected by Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), over 70,000 people have been killed since 2016. Hundreds of thousands of others have been injured. UNICEF has confirmed that at least 7,300 children have been killed or seriously injured in Yemen since March 2015.

The Houthis – which have various homegrown missiles including the Qaher-1, which has a range of 500 km., and the Borkan-1 – have launched several ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia as well as suicide drones.

A recent report by AFP found that Houthis launched at least 20 missile and drone attacks against the oil-rich kingdom in June alone, with some resulting in casualties and damage.

The group recently released footage showing some 15 unmanned armed drones that had various ranges, including the “Sammad 3,” which could strike targets some 1,500 km. away.
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