Shuaif Abdel Zaher
The Iran-aligned Houthi militia sells drugs to bankroll its military activities. Most of the drugs entering Yemen are smuggled into the country by Hezbollah.
Last week, the authorities seized 23 tons of hash that were on the road to Houthi-controlled areas in the northeastern province of al-Jawf.
Drugs are now sold everywhere in Yemen, including on the streets and on the roads, according to al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper. It said the drugs are sold at supermarkets and in the markets.
The newspaper noted that the Houthi militia increased dependence on the drug trade to finance its military activities in Yemen.
The Houthis, meanwhile, use drugs to control Yemeni youth, the newspaper said.
Hezbollah and the smuggling of drugs
The Lebanese Hezbollah movement has turned Rafiq al-Hriri International Airport into a center for the smuggling of arms, drugs and militants in a way that serves the interests of the Iranians, according to the American newspaper, Washington Times.
Hezbollah, like al-Qaeda, uses the manufacturing and selling of narcotics on a massive scale in the Middle East and North Africa with the aim of bankrolling their activities, the newspaper said.
Hezbollah started offering protection to drug dealers as of the 1980s. in 2012, The US Senate revealed that narcotics contributed around 30% of the revenues of Hezbollah.
The Houthis depend on companies and brokers involved in money laundering to transfer money raised by Hezbollah to them, in the light of ongoing cooperation between the two groups.
The Houthis also send hundreds of millions of dollars to Hezbollah for the Lebanese group to invest them.
Houthi military activities
The Houthis depend on local and outside sources to bankroll their military activities. This money helps the group hold on in the past years, despite the efforts made by the legitimate Yemeni government to eradicate this militia.
The Houthis also grow narcotics in agricultural areas in the northern province of Saada, the main stronghold of the militia. Most of the narcotics grown in Yemen are smuggled out of the country.
Saudi Border Guard Spokesman Col. Saher bin Mohamed al-Harbi revealed recently that his troops had seized more than 2.4 tons of hash in the past three years.