Houthi Rocket, Drone Smuggling Ring Eliminated in Yemen
An arms smuggling network operated by the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen was busted by the legitimate Yemeni army and tribal fighters, revealed military sources in the eastern Marib province.
The ring was eliminated after clashes in the al-Wadi region north of Marib. Eight members of the cell, including its leader, were killed.
The sources said the ring was based in the al-Khasha region and headed by a man identified as Mohsen Sbeian. It used to smuggle weapons to the Houthis from Yemen’s southern coasts to areas controlled by the militias in Saada, Sanaa and others.
The ring smuggled ballistic missile and drone parts and other military equipment. Such equipment was discovered during the raid. A security source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the forces also discovered weapons, explosives and ammunition.
The majority of the cell members killed in the clash hailed from Saada, the Houthi stronghold. Two soldiers were killed in the operation.
Besides smuggling, the military sources accused the cell of planting mines and explosives on the roads used by the legitimate forces.
Various Yemeni and UN reports had spoken of Houthi arms smuggling networks that begin in the Arabian Sea to reach Yemen’s southern and western coasts. The weapons and rocket parts are transported along desert roads to areas held by the Houthis.