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Yemen claims Iran supplies Houthi rebels with drones Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Yemen claims Iran supplies Houthi rebels with drones

8.4 million are on the verge of famine in Yemen [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 April, 2018

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Drones are "made in Iran" said the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, claiming that it was impossible to manufacture them locally.

The Yemeni government accused Iran on Saturday of supplying the Houthi rebels with drones used for cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia.

Two drones were shot down in the south of the kingdom said Riyadh on Wednesday, and ballistic missiles fired from rebel-held parts of Yemen were intercepted, the latest in a series of similar cross-border incidents.

In a statement, the Saudi-backed government said the drones are "made in Iran", adding Yemen's military did not possess such aircraft and it was "impossible to manufacture them locally".

Iran backs the Houthis who seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, prompting a Saudi-led military coalition to intervene against the rebels the following year.

Tehran has denied arming the rebels, which would violate a UN weapons embargo placed in 2015.

Riyadh said its air defences between Wednesday and Friday intercepted five ballistic missiles and two drones launched from rebel-held northern Yemen.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in the country in March 2015 to push back the Houthis who captured the capital Sanaa and forced the government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi into exile.

The United Nations says the conflict has triggered the world's worst humanitarian crisis, as 22.2 million people need aid and 8.4 million are on the verge of famine.

Yemen is also struggling with cholera and diphtheria outbreaks.

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