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Iran acknowledges supplying arms to Houthis

In a surprising about-face, analysis on Iranian television has implicitly admitted that the country has armed Houthi rebels as part of its role in Yemen’s devastating civil war.

On Friday, state-affiliated Fars news agency in Iran discussed the use of Zalzal-2 missiles by the Houthi rebels against Yemeni forces. The Zalzal-2 is an Iranian-developed unguided ballistic rocket.

Despite repeated evidence to the contrary, Iran has denied its role in the Yemeni crisis. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called the accusations of Iran sending aid to rebel militias “baseless”.147012408354261

Fars reporters spoke about the use of the Zalzal-2 missiles against Yemeni forces in the capital of Sana’a on Friday.

“It was a precision missile strike and [it] hit the target,” the source said.

Fars then quote Seyed Sadeq al-Sharafi, a “prominent analyst”, who said that militias “are developing t heir missile power to target Riyadh and Dubai in the near future, after they increase their missile and military capabilities and expand the range of their military operations against their enemies.”

A few weeks ago, it was learned that US Navy and allied warships found four shipments of weapons from Iran en route to Yemen since April, 2015.

Meanwhile, Yemenis have grown increasingly outraged by foreign intervention in aid of the rebels.

Thousands of people took part in a rally to show support for ousted Yemeni President And Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who left the country in 2015 after the capital of Sana’a was seized by rebels. The rally, which took place in Al-Orod Square in the de facto capital of Aden, was attended by the governors of Adea, Abyan, Lahij, and Dalea provinces.

The participants chanted anti-Iranian slogans and expressed solidarity with President Hadi. They also voiced support for the Saudi-led Arab coalitions’ forces, which attempted to wrest control of the country from the rebels last

The crowd issued a statement, as well:

“Those who have gathered here in this square today and other crowds who have gathered in Hadramout and other liberated areas completely reject the UN envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s initiative to end the war in Yemen that he announced. We reject it because Ould Cheikh’s initiative opposes the Gulf initiative, its implementation mechanisms, the outputs of the national dialogue and UN resolutions. We strongly condemn the content of Ould Cheikh’s briefing to the Security Council that took place on the 30th of October 2016 concerning the situation in southern Yemen.”

“We express our displeasure of the UN envoy’s initiative and his briefing to the Security Council which represented a serious blow to peace efforts in Yemen and is an insult to the UN resolution 2216 and the points that it contains regarding commitments to end the coup and the return of the legitimate government to its normal location in order to secure peace, development and security in the country.”

The participants called upon the U.N., the U.N. Security Council, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute Ali Abdullah Saleh, Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi (the namesake of the al-Houthi movement) and their assistants under international legal precedents for having committed war crimes.

They also condemned the Houthis and dictatorial ex-president Saleh for targeting Mecca in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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