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Iran Sends Weapons to Houthi Rebels from Two African Islands | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Tribesmen loyal to Houthi rebels hold their weapons during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters into battlefronts in several Yemeni cities, in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, June 20, 2016. Yemen’s civil war has killed some 9,000 people since March 2015 ‚Äî a third of them civilians, according to the United Nations. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Riyadh- Iran’s capital, Tehran, has shifted its strategy of sending smuggled shipments carrying weapons to support Houthi militias, and has instead built a floating bridge similar to those used in immense military battles, reaching the shores of Bab el-Mandeb, and therefore, has benefited from the two islands that Tehran had rented from an African state located near Yemen.

General Ahmed Saif, commander of the Fourth Military Region told Asharq Al-Awsat that the National Army was capable in the past few days to seize a big quantity of heavy and medium-sized weapons and millions of ammunition, for several kinds of artillery. Saif said the weapons were found in boats near the shores of Bab el-Mandeb, ready to be carried elsewhere.

According to the army’s investigations, General Saif said it became clear now that those weapons were carried from two African islands that Tehran had rented to train Houthi leaders and provide them with weapons during this phase, when they suffer from a shortage in basic materials.

Saif said that this operation could be achieved after Iran had built a floating bridge reaching the shores of Bab el-Mandeb. The General said that weapons are quickly sent to Houthi coup militants to allow them launch a fierce attack from the region of Mohawila to Kahboub and then Soukiya, in an attempt to isolate the island of Manyun, Bab el-Mandeb and Zhabab.

The weapons seized by the army were modern and usually used by organized armies rather than militias or movements. The army was capable of capturing them before they reached the hands of rebels.

Several leaderships at the Yemeni Army are expected to send a report in the coming days to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi explaining how some African states had conspired against Yemen by allowing Tehran to rent some of their islands located near Bab el-Mandeb.

In a linked development, Yemeni President Mansour Hadi met in Riyadh with U.N. envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and informed him that the Yemeni presidency would not attend the U.N.-sponsored peace talks, expected to be held in Kuwait next Friday, unless it receives quick and written guarantees that oblige Houthi militants to discuss the pre-conditions for peace, to immediately stop attacking civilians and to release all hostages.

Mohammed Al-Ameri, an adviser to Hadi and a member of the Yemeni government, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Hadi had told the U.N. envoy during their 45-minute meeting that Yemen was attached to the choice of negotiations, however, there should be tools to make these talks succeed.

Al-Ameri said that Ould insisted that the Yemeni government delegation returns to Kuwait to resume negotiations, however, Hadi said in the absence of pre-conditions for peace, the rebels would use these talks only to win time and continue their aggression.

According to Yemen’s Saba news agency, Hadi told Ould: “We had offered many concessions for the advantage of our people and nation… and since entering into the peace consultations in Kuwait, we [the government] have met all our obligations. But we’ve received nothing in return from the coup militia.”