Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A delegation of Houthi rebels met with Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon to discuss the latest developments in Yemen’s civil war.
The delegation was led by Houthi spokesman Mohamed Abdelsalam and discussed the political and humanitarian situation in the war-torn country as well as regional and international developments, according to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV.
Abdelsalam also congratulated Nasrallah on the 12th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War that was fought between the Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist group and Israel, and thanked him for the group’s support of the Yemeni rebels “in face of the brutal US-Saudi aggression,” Al-Manar reported.Yemen has been gripped by violence
since September 2014, when Houthi rebels stormed the capital of Sanaa and forced the internationally recognized government to flee south.
The Saudi-led coalition began bombing raids on Houthi positions across Yemen in March 2015, in support of Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. It has since been accused of bombing schools, markets, hospitals and other civilian targets. This week, a coalition bomb reportedly hit a school bus, killing dozens of schoolchildren.
According to data collected by ACLED, a group that studies conflicts, nearly 50,000 people have been killed between January 2016 and late July 2018. Hundreds of thousands of others have been injured.
The Houthis have various homegrown missiles including the Qaher-1, which has a range of 500 kilometers, and the Borkan-1, several of which they have launched into Saudi Arabia. Israel believes that Iran has begun to build missile factories in Yemen.
According to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Iran is providing funding to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Forces in Syria, to Hezbollah in Yemen and Lebanon, Shi’ite militias in Iraq, Houthi militias in Yemen and to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza at a cost of $2.5 billion a year.
While Iran supports the Houthis it denies interfering in Yemen.
Tehran is believed to have sent Hezbollah fighters to the war-torn country in order to train the rebels there. In early August, a Saudi-led military coalition air strike killed two Hezbollah “military experts” west of Sanaa in the Marib district.
Last week, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington took to Twitter to show what he claimed was evidence of Hezbollah directly training Houthi rebels and overseeing rebel units in Yemen.
The presence of Hezbollah commanders in Yemen, according to Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman, “confirms the Iranian regime has subcontracted the Houthi militia to another one of its proxies: Hezbollah. It proves the regime’s proxies work in tandem to undermine regional stability and prolong the suffering of countries they are involved in.”
According to comments posted by bin Salman, the same Hezbollah operative was seen advising Houthis to “use deception tactics such as using water tanks to store weapons, and smuggling fighters through civilian vehicles, endangering the lives of Yemeni civilians.”
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