Yemen govt accuses Iran of arming Huthis with drones


Yemen, Apr 15  (TNS): The Yemeni government on Saturday accused Iran of supplying Shia Huthi rebels with drones used for cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh said Wednesday it had shot down two drones in the south of the kingdom as well as intercepting ballistic missiles fired from rebel-held parts of Yemen, the latest in a series of similar incidents. The Saudi-backed government said in a statement Saturday that the drones are “made in Iran. It added that Yemen s military did not possess such aircraft and it was “impossible to manufacture them locally”.

Iran backs the Huthis, who seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, prompting a Saudi-led military coalition to intervene against the rebels the following year. But Tehran has repeatedly denied arming the rebels, which would violate a United Nations weapons embargo slapped on Yemen in 2015. Riyadh said its air defences between Wednesday and Friday intercepted five ballistic missiles and two drones launched from rebel-held northern Yemen. Saudi Arabia in March 2015 launched a coalition of Arab states fighting to roll back the Huthi rebels in Yemen and restore the country s internationally-recognized government to power. Nearly 10,000 people have since been killed in Yemen s conflict, in what the United Nations has called the world s worst humanitarian crisis. AFP…..