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Houthis 'Target' Peace Efforts with Iranian-Made Drone

Houthis 'Target' Peace Efforts with Iranian-Made Drone

Friday, 11 January, 2019 - 08:30
An image grab taken from a video shows Yemeni soldiers reacting after a drone exploded above Yemen's al-Anad airbas on January 10, 2019. Nabil HASSAN / AFPTV / AFP
Riyadh - Aden - Abdulhadi Habtor - Asharq Al-Awsat

A bomb-laden drone launched by the Houthi rebels, which exploded on Thursday over a Yemeni military parade at al-Anad Air Base in the southern province of Lahj, was most likely manufactured by Iran, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The attack, 50 kilometers north of Aden, left four troops dead and another 20 injured.

The government described the attack as "a message of blatant defiance to the international community and outright rejection to peace efforts."

It blamed the UN for its "silence and leniency" toward the Houthis, saying that has encouraged the rebels to continue "barbaric and aggressive practices ... threatening the regional security."

Spokesman Rajih Badi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the attack came hours after UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths welcomed lowered violence in Yemen.

Briefing the United Nations Security Council through video, the envoy noted that the December 18 ceasefire, dubbed the Stockholm Agreement, in and around the port city of Hodeidah had been largely adhered to.

The information minister of Yemen’s internationally recognized government, Moammar al-Eryani, said the attack showed that the Houthis are "not ready for peace."

Eryani slammed the strike and urged "the international community to stand by the legitimate government and force the militias to give up their weapons and pull out of the cities."

He said that the government has confiscated shipments of weapons coming from Iran, and this drone is "another testament that Iranians continue to arm Houthis and destabilize Yemen."

Other Yemeni government and military officials made similar condemnations, blaming Tehran.

In the first international condemnation, British Ambassador to Yemen, Michael Aron, tweeted that an escalation anywhere in Yemen "goes against the spirit of the Stockholm agreement".

Later Thursday, Griffiths expressed alarm over the escalation of violence and urged all parties to exercise restraint.

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