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Houthi Leader Tries to Acquit Tehran of Arming his Group - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London- The leader of Yemen’s Houthi militia said Friday that the group had begun manufacturing unmanned aerial drones and surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).

In a statement broadcast on TV, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said the group was now “manufacturing artillery shells and air defenses.”

These, he said, included surface-to-air missiles capable of downing warplanes used by a Saudi-led military coalition, supporting Yemen’s legitimate government against the Houthis and their allies.

His remarks came few days after Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul-Malik al-Mekhlafi told Asharq Al-Awsat that Tehran provided Houthi militias with drones that are capable of carrying weapons.

In response to these statements, Yemeni political analyst and author Najib Ghallab said that Houthi’s speech carries internal and external messages.

Ghallab said that Houthis are covering up Iran’s meddling in response to a request made by Tehran, which has come under extensive U.S. pressure.

He further noted that there is another internal reason for this act, which is to deceive Yemenis by showing them that Iran does not interfere in their matters and that they are the ones developing weapons.

“Yemenis reject any foreign intervention and Houthis are aware of that, and for this reason they are trying to cover up Iran’s acts in their country,” Ghallab said.

For his part, Spokesperson of the Saudi-led coalition forces Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri said, in an interview with the Russian news agency Sputnik on Thursday, that when Houthis seized arms of Yemeni army they manipulated these missiles and weapons with the help of Iranians and “Hezbollah” to increase their range and explosive charges, which caused disasters in Yemen.

“When these missiles land on Yemeni lands they cause dozens of casualties and these kinds of practices are part of Houthis escape plan,” al-Assiri said.

He confirmed that the legitimate leadership will return to Sana’a and these militias will have no place to hide, very soon.