Houthi minister urges sending children to war

The youth minister in Yemen's Houthi government on Friday (October 20th) proposed suspending school classes for a year and sending students and teachers to the front, AFP reported.

Hassan Zaid, minister for youth and sports in an administration set up by the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah), which is not internationally recognised, suggested students and teachers could be armed.

"Would we not be able to reinforce the ranks with hundreds of thousands (of fighters) and win the battle?" he wrote on Facebook.

A teachers' strike in areas under the control of the Houthis, in protest at salaries going unpaid, delayed the start of the school year by two weeks.

When they did open on Sunday, classrooms were largely empty.

Social media users responded angrily to the minister's post.

"What if we let the students study and sent the ministers and their bodyguards to the front?" one wrote. "That would give us victory and a prosperous future."

Zaid criticised those who complained about his proposal.

"People close the schools under the pretext of a strike and when we think about how to take advantage of this situation, they take offence," he said.

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