Abdul-Malik al-Houthi

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Abdul-Malik al-Houthi
عبدالملك الحوثي
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi in his speech.jpg
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi in his speech
Leader of Ansar-Allah Movement
Preceded byHussein al-Houthi
Personal details
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi

(1979-05-22) 22 May 1979 (age 43)
Saada Governorate, Yemen[1]
RelativesHussein Badreddin al-Houthi (brother)
Yahia al-Houthi (brother)
Military service
Allegiance Yemen
Branch/service Houthis
Years of service2004–present
Battles/warsHouthi insurgency in Yemen
Yemeni Civil War (2014–present)
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen

Abdul-Malik Badruldeen al-Houthi (Arabic: عبد الملك بدر الدين الحوثي) is a Yemeni politician and religious leader who serves as the leader of the Zaidi revolution movement; the Houthi movement (Ansar Allah). His brothers Yahia and Abdul-Karim are also leaders of the group, as were his late brothers Hussein, Ibrahim,[2] and Abdulkhaliq.[3][4][5][6][7] Abdul-Malik Houthi is the leading figure in the Yemeni Civil War which started with the Houthi takeover in Yemen in the Saada Governorate in northern Yemen.

Personal life[edit]

Al-Houthi was born in Saada, northern Yemen, into the Houthi tribe in 1982. Some sources state that he was born on 22 May 1979.[8][9] He follows the Zaidiyyah branch of Shia Islam. His father, Badreddin, was a religious scholar of Yemen's minority Zaydi Shia sect. Abdul-Malik was the youngest among his eight brothers.[10] His older brother, Hussein, was politically active and a member of the parliament of Yemen, as well as being a prominent critic of the former President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Hussein founded the Houthi movement to promote Zaidi thought, rise against the oppressors ruling Yemen, and to provide educational and social services. After Hussein was killed, Abdul-Malik succeeded him by taking control of the movement.

Political activity[edit]

A Houthi holds up an image of Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi during protests against the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in 2015.

Abdul-Malik al-Houthi criticized the Yemeni government for maintaining a status quo in the country, which he said had plunged people into poverty, and accused the government of marginalizing the Zaidi community.[citation needed] The Yemeni government of president Ali Abdullah Saleh accused al-Houthi's group of trying to reestablish the "clerical imamate" (Shia Islamic government), which al-Houthi denied.[11]

Al-Houthi was reported to have been badly injured during an air raid in December 2009, a claim denied by a spokesman.[citation needed] On 26 December 2009, two days after a heavy air strike from the Royal Saudi Air Force, it was claimed that Al-Houthi had been killed.[12][13] However, the claim was refuted by the Houthis, who then released video evidence showing he was alive.[citation needed]

Al-Houthi addressed the nation on Yemen TV in a late-night speech on 20 January 2015, after troops loyal to him seized the presidential palace and attacked the private residence of president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in Sana'a. He demanded Hadi implement reforms giving the Houthi movement more control over the government.[14] Although it was initially reported that Hadi conceded to al-Houthi's demands,[15] the president resigned from office on 22 January, saying the political process had "reached a dead end".[16] The UN Security Council then imposed sanctions on al-Houthi.[17] He was praised by Iranian conservative politician Mohsen Rezaei, in a statement of moral support and defense of "real Islamic awakening".[18]

During the bombing of the Sanaa airport by Saudi-led coalition warplanes in 2015, missiles pounded al-Houthi's hometown of Marran.[19]

According to the Guardian News agency, more than 40 Saudi officers have been trained at prestigious British military colleges since the Saudi intervention in Yemen started.[20] This officers mostly trained at Sandhurst, the RAF’s school at Cranwell and the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth since 2015.[20] The MoD refused to state the earned money from the Saudi contracts, because it could influence Britain's relations with the Saudis.[20]

al-Houthi condemned the UK military cooperation and arms sales to Saudi military.[20] According to a Sky News analysis, The UK has sold at least £5.7bn worth of arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen since 2015.[20]

On 10 May 2020, al-Houthi criticized the show Um Harun for promoting normalization of ties with Israel.[21]

International reaction[edit]

The UN announced a travel ban on al-Houthi in November 2014 after the Houthi takeover of Sana'a.[22] During a visit to the northern province, Jamal Benomar, the former UN envoy to Yemen, met with al-Houthi and said he supported the Houthi group in their rejection of moving the talks between Al Houthi and the current government outside of Yemen, in spite of the complaint of Hadi, the Yemeni legitimate president.[23]

On 10 January 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced plans to designate Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi and Abdullah Yahya al Hakim as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.[24] A month later, Antony J. Blinken revoked the designation of the trio as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.[25]


  1. ^ Peterson, J.E. (2008). "The al-Huthi Conflict in Yemen" (PDF). Arabian Peninsula Background Note. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Clashes in southern Yemen; rebels leader's brother killed". Globe and Mail. Associated Press. 9 August 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Brother of Houthis' top leader believed dead after air strike". The National (Abu Dhabi). 1 September 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  4. ^ Yemeni rebel leader denies seeking Shi'ite state. Mail & Guardian. 29 September 2009.
  5. ^ Almasmari, Hakim (6 September 2009). “My Group”, Abdul Malik Al-Houthi. Yemen Post.
  6. ^ Iran urges all sides to end Yemen conflict Archived November 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. İslâmi Davet. 24 November 2009.
  7. ^ the 500 most influential muslim,p.166.2009,ed by John Esposito & Ebrahim Kalin
  8. ^ "Abdul Malik Al Houthi: The Shiite Thorn on Yemen's side". www.albawabaeg.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Yemen's Abd-al-Malik al-Houthi". BBC. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Abdel-Malek al-Houthi: from shadow rebel leader to kingmaker". www.middleeasteye.net. Middle East Eye. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  11. ^ The World Almanac of Islamism. 27 October 2011. ISBN 9781442207158.
  12. ^ Increasing reports over death of terrorist al-Houthi. Yemen News Agency. 27 December 2009.
  13. ^ "In a slip of the tongue…Abdul-Malik al-Houthi confirmed dead". 10 February 2013. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013.
  14. ^ "Yemen leader expected to accept demands of Houthis who defeat his guards". Reuters. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  15. ^ "PRESIDENT APPROVES HOUTHI DEMANDS". The Yemen Times. 21 January 2015. Archived from the original on 25 March 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Yemen president quits, throwing country deeper into chaos". Reuters. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Jordan: UN Security Council to review position on Yemen next week". Middle East Monitor - The Latest from the Middle East.
  18. ^ "Critical Threats". Critical Threats.
  19. ^ "Coalition Raids Pound Houthi Targets Sanaa Saada". Al Jazeera America. 9 May 2015.
  20. ^ a b c d e Quinn, Ben (10 April 2019). "Dozens of Saudi military cadets trained in UK since Yemen intervention". theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Houthi Leader Slams Saudi, UAE for Promoting Ties with Israel - World news". Tasnim News Agency.
  22. ^ "Yemen's ex-president attempts to leave country, fails: sources". ASHARQ AL-AWSAT.
  23. ^ "UN envoy Benomar sought to legitimize Houthi coup: Yemen FM". ASHARQ AL-AWSAT.
  24. ^ "Pompeo says intends to designate Yemen's Houthi movement as foreign terror group". Reuters. 11 January 2021.
  25. ^ "Revocation of the Designations of Ansarallah, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al Hakim (and Their Respective Aliases) as Specially Designated Global Terrorists". federalregister.gov. 11 February 2021.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Leader of al-Shabab al-Muminin
September 2004 – present
Succeeded by