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Smuggling of Iranian Weapons: Obstacle in Resolving Yemen Conflict

Smuggling of Iranian Weapons: Obstacle in Resolving Yemen Conflict

Tuesday, 8 October, 2019 - 06:00
View of the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen November 23, 2018. (Reuters)

The smuggling of Iranian weapons in Yemen remains a major hurdle in kicking off any efforts to resolve the conflict in the war-torn country.


Tehran continues to supply the Houthi militias with missiles and drones to attack the Yemeni army and people.


Spokesman for the Yemeni armed forces, Abdo Majali said the smuggling is ongoing through the Ras Isa, Salif and Hodeidah sea ports that are controlled by the Houthis on the west coast.


The militias are determined to violate any agreement that could push forward the peace process, he told Asharq Al-Awsat.


The Houthis’ ongoing control of the three ports will have a negative impact on the country, he added.


The militias only know violence and there can be no solution without liberating these ports and restoring them under the control of the legitimate government, he stressed.


Furthermore, he accused Iranian experts in Hodeidah of managing the arms smuggling. Majali explained that the Iranians are in contact with their counterparts in Houthi-held Sanaa to ship the weapons.


The militias use civilian means to move the weapons to avoid them being targeted by military operations. They are sent directly to Saada and Sanaa, which are the main areas were the Houthis manufacture their drones and rockets.


Majali stated that such weapons were not within the Yemeni army’s arsenal and they were introduced to the country after the Houthi coup.


Asked if these arms are hindering the military’s advance in the Nahm and Saada fronts, he replied that geographic obstacles were behind the slow march. He cited the mountainous terrain and the Houthis’ heavy planting of landmines.


Moreover, he said that the army was following a military plan and was making a steady advance according to the plan to protect its soldiers.


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