Iran smuggling ‘kamikaze’ drones to Yemen’s Houthis, report finds

Evidence of the kind of equipment suspected of being used by the Houthis has emerged in recent attacks. (File photo: AP)

An EU-funded report by the Conflict Armament Research (CAR) has documented an arms smuggling route from Iran to the Horn of Africa and Yemen that was used to send light weapons and anti-tank missiles to Houthi militias.

The recent report also found that Houthis are using "kamikaze" drones sourced from Iran to attack radar systems on anti-missile batteries operated by the Arab coalition

According to the report, “These findings strengthen a body of evidence compiled by CAR, which links weapons captured from Houthi and [former President] Saleh-aligned forces to transfers from Iranian national stockpiles.”

CAR has also reported drones being smuggled without their nose cones or engines, indicating that different components were being shipped separately.

CAR said it had evidence showing that the Qasef-1 UAV drone was made in Iran and was not of indigenous design and construction “in contrast to Houthi statements”.

The drones were used by the Houthis and forces aligned to ex-Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh to target coalition missile defense systems in ‘kamikaze’ attacks, the monitoring group said.

It said this showed the Houthis' ability to use cheap technology against the coalition's sophisticated military assets.

Evidence of the kind of equipment suspected of being used by the Houthis has emerged in recent attacks.

On Jan. 30, a Saudi frigate was attacked near the Houthi-controlled port of Hudaydah, in an operation that Saudi official media blamed on the Houthis.

The US Navy said an unmanned remote-controlled boat laden with explosives rammed the Saudi vessel in the first known strike by a "drone" attack boat, and the Houthis had likely used technology supplied by Iran.

(With Reuters)
 

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