Report: Arms for Houthis found in Yemen trucks with Oman plates

Tribesmen loyal to the Houthis hold their weapons as they chant slogans during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters into battlefronts in several Yemeni cities, in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP)

Allies of Yemen’s president found weapons bound for Iran-aligned Houthi forces on trucks with Omani licence plates, although there was no evidence of any link to Omani authorities, who are neutral in Yemen’s war, a Saudi-owned daily reported on Sunday.

Al-Hayat newspaper quoted Marib governor Sultan al-Arada as saying the vehicles carrying “explosives and weapons” had been en route from the Yemeni province of Hadramout to the Houthi-held Yemeni capital of Sanaa.

Arada is an ally of Yemeni President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, whose supporters, backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition have been waging an offensive trying to roll back gains made by the Houthis since 2014.

The fighting, which intensified after UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait ended last month without an agreement, has seen little ground changing hands.

Omani officials were not immediately available for a comment. Arada was also out of the country and could not immediately be reached for a comment.

“Arada did not confirm an external link to that shipment, indicating that the trucks were carrying Omani license plates but it was not possible to confirm any Omani authorities’ connection to that,” al-Hayat said.

Oman sees itself as a mediator trying to prevent traditional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran from escalating into a confrontation.

Saudi Arabia, convinced that Iran supplies the Houthis with weapons, patrols Yemeni waters to try to stop any weapons from reaching the group.

Oman is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which also groups Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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