The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen is set to unveil evidence proving that Iran is arming the Houthi group in a conference today, The National reported.
“New evidence will reveal Iran’s involvement in smuggling ballistic missiles and weapons to the Houthi militia, which threatens regional and international security and spreads chaos,” Turki Al-Malki, Saudi-led coalition spokesman said.
The Saudi-led coalition has been monitoring the Red Sea and port Hudaydah for unmarked shipments to Yemen since 2015. Al-Maliki went on to claim that Houthi unmanned explosive boats have posed a “serious threat to maritime navigation and international trade”.
The Houthis have fired several missiles into Saudi Arabia over the course of the Yemen civil war, with the most notable strike towards the capital Riyadh. The Houthis also targeted Saudi Arabia’s oil company Aramco, in Yanbu, and the King Khalild International Airport, although claims were made that Saudi’s air force intercepted it.
Nikki Haley, US envoy to the UN, presented evidence of an Iranian Qiyam missile at the headquarters of the Defence Intelligence Agency in Washington last year. The weapons were collected by US partners, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both of whom are fighting in the Yemen civil war against the Houthis.
Early last month some 14 Security Council representatives were invited to review the evidence held by the US. But Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, rejected the evidence put forward, claiming that Russia will not support sanctions against Iran as the US does not have sufficient evidence.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has since been holding secret talks with the Houthi armed group over peace prospects for the Yemen civil war. Both sides of the conflict appear to be feeling the fatigue of war, after three long years of fighting and a stalemate on military territorial lines.
The Sultanate of Oman publically announced last month that a round of peace talks will be held in Muscat, beginning with the Houthis and General People’s Congress party. Mohammad Abdel-Salam, the Houthi’s principal negotiator, has been in Oman since late January, insinuating lengthy discussions over the conflict.
The Saudi-led coalition was invited in 2015 by the internationally recognised president of Yemen, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to execute a military campaign to neutralise the Houthis. Since then the war has seen the death of over 10,000 civilians, a Saudi-led blockade leading to starvation and nearly one million cholera cases across Yemen.