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Yemen Accuses Iran of Stepping Up Support for Rebels | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Tribesman from the Popular Resistance Committees, supporting forces loyal to Yemen’s Saudi-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, in the city of Taez/AFP

Aden- A Yemeni official told Asharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were behind all the acts of sabotage in the region.

Adviser to the Yemeni President Abdul Aziz Al-Maflahi said: “It is not surprising that Iran, and particularly its Revolutionary Guards, stand behind such acts to save the Saleh militias and Houthis from their distress after the Yemeni National Army and the Popular Resistance advanced in the western and eastern parts of the country.”

The advisor added there is uncontested evidence that Iran was sending arms shipments to the Yemeni rebels, including the Jihan 1 and Jihan 2 ships intercepted while smuggling weapons to Houthis.

His comments came as Western reports said Iran was stepping up its support to Houthis by sending advanced weapons and military advisers to the insurgents.

Reuters quoted sources with knowledge of the military movements, who declined to be identified, as saying that in recent months Iran has taken a greater role in the two-year-old conflict by stepping up arms supplies and other support.

The sources added that this mirrors the strategy Tehran has used to support its Lebanese ally “Hezbollah” in Syria.

According to a senior Iranian official, Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Qods Force – the external arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – met top IRGC officials in Tehran last month to look at ways to “empower” the Houthis, Reuters said.

“At this meeting, they agreed to increase the amount of help, through training, arms and financial support,” the official told the news agency.

At the battlefield, after the liberation of the Red Sea port city of Mokha, all eyes were on the towns and cities of the western coastal governorate of Hodeidah, including the city of Hodeidah, the capital of the Tehama district.

Al-Maflahi said: “The liberation of Hodeidah will represent the final and biggest defeat of the militias.”