Hezbollah, Iran operatives inside Yemen helping Houthi attacks: US diplomat

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Operatives from Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah are on the ground in Yemen helping with Houthi attacks, a senior US diplomat said on Tuesday.

“Credible public reports suggest a significant number of Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah operatives are supporting Houthi attacks from inside Yemen,” US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking told lawmakers.

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The Iran-backed Houthis have targeted commercial and international shipping for more than 40 times since November, including some attacks on American and other military ships in the Red Sea. They say their attacks will stop once a ceasefire is reached in Gaza.

Tim Lenderking, the US special envoy for Yemen, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Iran’s clerical state was “equipping and facilitating” the Huthi attacks, which have triggered retaliatory US and British strikes on Yemen.

Lenderking was speaking to a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss US military actions in Yemen as well as the Red Sea attacks by the Houthis.

Washington has been engaged in diplomatic efforts to end the yearslong war in Yemen, but those talks have been put on hold following the Gaza war and the subsequent Houthi attacks on Israel and commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

“I can’t imagine the Yemeni people want these Iranians in their country. This must stop,” Lenderking said.
In a previous interview with Al Arabiya English, the veteran US diplomat said American strikes would continue until the Houthis stopped their attacks.

Read more: America’s next long-term conflict: The campaign to deter Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis

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