Washington Examiner: Iran is fueling the conflict in Yemen with smuggled weapons

English - الأحد 20 نوفمبر 2022 الساعة 11:27 ص
NewsYemen, translations:

An American magazine confirmed that Iran continues to openly fuel the conflict in Yemen, criticizing at the same time the international community, which it said ignores the danger of Iranian weapons flowing to the Houthi militia, and focuses resentment on Saudi Arabia.

"The Houthis have no incentive to reach a lasting peace agreement if they can count on the continued supply of arms and support from Iran," the Washington Examiner magazine said in a recent report.

The US Navy's seizure of a shipment of explosives and missile fuel on board an Iranian ship on its way to Yemen was "a victory over the smuggling of Iranian weapons and an affirmation that Iran continues, in every sense of the word, to fuel the conflict in Yemen and the related humanitarian crisis there."

She also noted that it "emphasizes the need to ensure that the United States and partner forces in the region have the capacity to prevent Iranian arms smuggling."

She noted that Iranian support for the Houthis is not new, as Tehran has been arming the Houthis since at least 2009 and increased its aid in 2015 after the Houthis overthrew the internationally recognized Yemeni government.

The American magazine criticized the international community, saying that it largely focuses resentment on Saudi Arabia, and often ignores Iranian weapons that help fuel conflict and a humanitarian crisis.

"While the Houthis have used artillery and small arms and recruited children, their preferred tactic to strike Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has been using drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles," she said.

Since the start of the war - the report says - the Houthis reportedly launched at least 550 drones and 350 ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia and launched at least 375 cross-border attacks in 2021 alone, and in January 2022 the Houthis launched two missiles.  On Tuesday, the interceptor fuel could have enabled ballistic missiles to be able to repeat such an attack.

"Iran provides the Houthis with arms smuggling on sailboats, although it also smuggles some supplies by land," the magazine said, and considered that this willingness to use a variety of methods reflects Iran's approach to arming Hezbollah in Lebanon, as Tehran sent weapons to Hezbollah via  The land bridge between Iraq and Syria, some of which are transported by sea.

Tehran's use of maritime smuggling routes helped inspire the creation of multiple joint task forces in the region, she said, and the United States and its partners have also conducted several exercises in the region, including training focused on the capabilities demonstrated in this seizure.

The American magazine stressed that a permanent solution to the crisis in Yemen and the humanitarian crisis associated with it depends largely on stopping the flow of Iranian weapons.

"While this week's news is a welcome victory, more must be done," she said. "Washington should work with its regional partners to increase intelligence sharing on Iranian smuggling and build multilateral interception capabilities."

The Washington Examiner concluded, "Given the national security threats emanating from Yemen and the human suffering there, providing resources for these prevention efforts would be a boon worth the money."