Abdulmalik Al-Houthi describes coronavirus as “biological warfare” plot by America
Houthi leader Abdulmalik Al-Houthi described the coronavirus pandemic as “biological warfare” in a televised address on Saturday, saying if the deadly virus spreads in Yemen it would be as a result of an American plot carried out by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Amid growing fears that the virus will wreak havoc on Yemen’s dilapidated healthcare sector, the Houthis are accused of clamping down on opponents under the guise of taking preventative measures to prepare for an outbreak.
Independent global health authorities believe the virus, also referred to as COVID-19, is natural and of animal origin, first being transmitted to humans in China in November 2019. However, unsubstantiated theories have spread regarding the origin of the virus. Most recently, on Sunday Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, similarly said that the virus may have been made intentionally by the US.
In his Saturday remarks, held to commemorate the anniversary of the death of his brother and the group’s namesake, Hussein Al-Houthi, Abdulmalik said that biological warfare experts have been talking about Americans working for years to take advantage of coronavirus and work to spread it in certain communities. “Any arrival of coronavirus into Yemen will be the result of a US action through its tools Saudi Arabia and UAE and will be addressed as an act of aggression,” he said.
The Houthis are blocking thousands of Yemeni travelers who were abroad or in other areas of the country from returning to Sana’a and other northern areas, with thousands of Yemenis stuck near the frontline in central Yemen. Al-Houthi’s call for Yemenis to "cooperate with the competent authorities in their actions” has been viewed by many commentators as an attempt to justify the group’s violations against travelers under the pretext of addressing the global pandemic.
In another unsubstantiated claim, Al-Houthi alleged that some communities have been targeted under the guise of humanitarian efforts by distributing contaminated aid, like medical supplies and foodstuff, containing viruses that transmit deadly epidemics. “Epidemics and diseases could be caused by systematic and intended actions to spread damage such as biological warfare by using viruses to spread epidemics in certain societies,” he said.
Moreover, the Houthi leader told his followers that companies owned by the Zionist lobby in America see their economic interests as a justification for doing anything, no matter how harmful, and could spread an epidemic and create a vaccine for it in order to earn a large profit.
“It is important to be aware of the negative role of the forces of evil in order to face them and confront their destructive role," he said, adding “it is of great importance to see America as an enemy and hold it accountable for its criminal practices.”
Describing his brother Hussein as “the martyr of the Quran,” Al-Houthi said “we realize the importance of his choice when we see the sensitivity and gravity of the phase in which he started his project after the events of September 11 and America's quest to tighten its full control over our Muslim nation.”
“We must make coronavirus an opportunity to build a new reality for the nation to meet its challenges,” Al-Houthi said Saturday, adding that “our Yemeni people are facing viruses of another kind, namely viruses of aggression and the germs of betrayal in a raging war.”
"We must continue to support the fronts, and there are important and strong victories and operations on the ground, and it is our duty to continue to confront the aggression," he said.