Jeddah – Houthi militias were found to be involved in the illegal entry of Iranian military experts to Yemeni grounds, a Yemen government official said.
The Iranian military experts, experienced with missile development, mine and explosives production, have entered Yemeni grounds with forged identification papers.
Iran uses Yemeni islands off the western coast for delivering weapons to Houthi militants, forcing the hand of the Yemeni army to launch massive military operations against the west coast to limit the smuggling of weapons through the key port city of Mokha, located on the Red Sea coastal line.
Iran has been directly involved in providing Houthi and Saleh militias with arms. Most recently they used islands west of Yemen to smuggle weapons and deliver them to the insurgents.
Reserve forces commander Major General Samir al-Haj told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Iranian experts entering with forged Yemen passports and personal identification Yemeni papers are getting admitted through insurgency-held ports and airports.
“Iranian combat specialists, experts with development of missiles, bombings and mines, and special operations commanders who entered Yemen do not exceed dozens,” he said.
Maj.Gen. al-Haj pointed out that a number of the Iranian experts were killed as a result of air strikes carried by the Saudi-led Arab coalition forces. Other Iranian experts are still alive often visiting Yemen with fake papers.
Maj.Gen al-Haj confirmed that several arms trafficking deals are incoming from Iran. Putschists are the first and foremost beneficiaries from arms coming into the country.
Iran-aligned Houthis along with armed loyalists backing ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh have been running an insurgency in Yemen aimed at dismantling authority and the constitutionally elected government led by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.
A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen’s civil war nearly two years ago to back President Hadi after he was overthrown from the capital Sanaa by Houthi forces.