Yahya Sarea

General Yahya Sarea is the military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, a.k.a. Ansar Allah.“Yemeni Armed Forces: “Compact Structure” Campaign Liberated an Area of 2500 Sq. Kilometers, Killed, Injured or Arrested Thousands of Mercenaries (Video),” Al Manar, February 2, 2020, https://english.almanar.com.lb/930910; “Yemeni Houthis say they fired missile at Saudi Aramco site in Jeddah,” Reuters, November 22, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-saudi-aramco-saudi/yemens-houthis-say-attacked-saudi-aramco-facility-in-jeddah-with-rocket-tweet-idUSKBN28308L. The Houthis have waged a series of bloody insurgencies against the Yemeni government since 2004, overthrowing them and seizing power in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa in 2015.Ahmed al-Haj, “Yemen Shiite Rebels Harden Their Protest Demands,” Associated Press, August 25, 2014, https://wtop.com/news/2014/08/yemen-shiite-rebels-harden-their-protest-demands/; Rod Nordland, “Rebels in Yemen Say They Intend to Form a New Government,” New York Times, February 6, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/07/world/middleeast/yemen-rebels-say-they-will-dissolve-parliament.html?_r=1.

In February 2015, the Iran-backed Houthis took control of Sanaa and expelled the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, drawing protest from the U.N. Security Council.“Yemen’s Houthis Form Own Government in Sanaa,” Al Jazeera, February 6, 2015, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2015/02/yemen-houthi-rebels-announce-presidential-council-150206122736448.html. Hadi fled to Aden and rescinded his resignation.Mohammed Ghobari and Mohammed Mukhashaf, “Yemen’s Hadi Flees to Aden and Says He Is Still President,” Reuters, February 21, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/21/us-yemen-security-idUSKBN0LP08F20150221. The internationally recognized Yemeni government has since operated from Aden.“Government outraged as Yemen rebels make TV boss ‘ambassador’ to Iran,” National (Abu Dhabi), last updated March 1, 2020, https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/mena/government-outraged-as-yemen-rebels-make-tv-boss-ambassador-to-iran-1.899666. In March 2015, Saudi Arabia launched Operation Decisive Storm in an effort to quash the Houthi coup and reinstate the government of ousted Yemeni President Hadi.“Saudi ‘Decisive Storm’ waged to save Yemen,” Al Arabiya, March 25, 2015, http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/26/GCC-states-to-repel-Houthi-aggression-in-Yemen-statement-.html; Nick Thompson and Inez Torre, “Yemen: Who’s joining Saudi Arabia's fight against the Houthis?,” CNN, March 30, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/27/world/yemen-saudi-coalition-map/.

Sarea began posting on Twitter in November 2018 as the Houthis’ military spokesman and has since claimed credit for and defended numerous Houthi drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.Yahya Sarea, Twitter account, accessed January 15, 2021, https://twitter.com/army21ye. Sarea has threatened new attacks on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and any other country participating in the Arab coalition fighting the Houthis.“Houthis threaten to strike ‘sensitive’ sites in Saudi Arabia, UAE,” Xinhua, December 30, 2019, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-12/30/c_138665230.htm. Sarea has also accused the United States of supporting the Arab coalition and arming the Houthis’ enemies.“Saudi Royal Palaces Will Be among Targets of Yemeni Strikes: General Sarea laces,” Al Manar, July 7, 2020, https://english.almanar.com.lb/1082325. He has promised that Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia will continue.“Yemeni Houthis say they fired missile at Saudi Aramco site in Jeddah,” Reuters, November 22, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-saudi-aramco-saudi/yemens-houthis-say-attacked-saudi-aramco-facility-in-jeddah-with-rocket-tweet-idUSKBN28308L.

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On October 16, 2020, while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” 18-year-old Abdoulakh Anzorov decapitated history teacher Samuel Paty in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. Paty had recently received death threats after showing caricatures of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad in class as part of a lesson on freedom of speech.  

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