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Yemen Interior Ministry Thwarts Smuggling of Sanaa-Bound Rockets, Drones

Yemen Interior Ministry Thwarts Smuggling of Sanaa-Bound Rockets, Drones

Saturday, 2 February, 2019 - 06:15
Houthi militants man a checkpoint at the southern entrance to the city of Sanaa November 15, 2014. (Reuters)
Jeddah – Saeed al-Abyad

The Yemeni Interior Ministry thwarted in recent days an attempt to smuggles dozens of rockets and drones to the capital Sanaa, which is held by the Iran-backed Houthi militias.

First Interior Ministry Undersecretary Mohammed bin Abboud al-Sharif told Asharq Al-Awsat that the perpetrators sought to smuggle their goods to the Houthis through the eastern coast of Yemen that is controlled by the legitimate government.

The smuggled shipment was intercepted on the outskirts of the Maarib and al-Jawf regions before they arrived at their final destination in Sanaa, he revealed.

The smugglers were arrested and they have since been referred to the general prosecution, Sharif stated.

He added that the militias sought to carry out their operation through the East coast believing that they will pass undetected. He remarked, however, that the Interior Ministry controls all portals and it monitors all smuggling operations.

Smuggling is, however, continuing along the Houthi-held West coast of Yemen.

Moreover, Sharif said that the Interior Ministry has succeeded in thwarting an attempt to smuggle 7 tons of narcotics. The shipment was entered into government-held regions and later attempted to be smuggled in Houthi-held regions.

“We have a security plan to achieve stability in liberated regions that are held by the government, especially in Maarib and al-Jawf,” he added.

The plan has seen the heavy deployment of security forces and the support of all security and intelligence agencies, which has ultimately helped limit the number of terrorist and hostile attacks in liberated regions, he went on to say.

He thanked the Saudi-led Arab coalition for supporting government institutions and security agencies, singling out Saudi Arabia for its generous backing for Yemen.

Political analyst Dr. Fahd al-Shlaimi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the efforts of the joint Arab forces and security agencies on the ground has led to a drop in Houthi operations.

On the failed attempted to smuggle drones to the Houthis, he said that Iran was likely supplying them with the aircraft.

He added that the drones serve no military purpose, meaning that they can only be used for Houthi terrorist attacks.

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