Iran smuggling hi-tech weapons to Houthi militia

Houthi militant stands guard on the roof of a building overlooking a rally attended by supporters of the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen. (Reuters)

In recent months, Iran has increased its role in the war in Yemen, according to regional and Western sources, by sending hi- tech weapons and military advisers to the Houthi militias.

A senior Iranian official revealed that Qassim Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force, met with senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officials in Tehran last month to discuss ways to “empower” the Houthis with weapons, ammunition and military counseling.

According to many sources, Iran’s support for the Houthis has increased significantly in recent months, despite Iran’s persistent attempts to deny it.

In a recent Reuters report on Tehran, sources maintained that Qassim Soleimani and senior IRGC officials agreed to increase aid to the Houthi militias through training, weapons and financial support.  

Strenghthen grip 

A former senior Iranian security official was quoted by Reuters as saying that Iranian regime is planning to assist the Houthi militia in Yemen to strengthen their grip in the region, similar to the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

Iran is using ships to deliver supplies either directly to Yemen or through Somalia to circumvent the coalition’s efforts.

After the ships arrive in the region, the cargo is transported to small fishing boats that are difficult to monitor on Yemen’s 2,700-kilometer coastline.

The report asserted that the Houthi militia received several hi-tech weapons recently such as the Kornet anti-tank guided missile which were not available in Yemen before.

In January, the Houthis launched an attack on a Saudi frigate through a remote-controlled boat. A Coast Guard boat was also destroyed near Mukalla region this month by mines laid by the Houthis.

The equipment that was smuggled included long-range ballistic missiles and drones with explosive warheads.

In addition to weapons, Tehran sends Afghan and Arab Shiite experts to train the Houthi militia and to act as advisers, including Afghans who fought in Syria under the Quds Force.

This article is also available in Arabic.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:00 - GMT 11:00
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