Saudi coalition shows footage of alleged Hezbollah involvement in Yemen war

The Saudi-led coalition called Hezbollah a "cancer" which is part of Iran's attempts to bring "destruction and devastation" to the world.

 Followers of the Houthi movement carry a mock drone during a rally held to mark the Ashura in Saada (photo credit: NAIF RAHMA / REUTERS)
Followers of the Houthi movement carry a mock drone during a rally held to mark the Ashura in Saada
(photo credit: NAIF RAHMA / REUTERS)

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen published footage they say shows instructors from the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group training Houthi militants on how to use UAVs, during a press conference on Sunday.

One video published show drone parts, with the symbol of the Hezbollah movement visible in on some containers. Another video shows a person identified as "a leader from the terrorist Lebanese Hezbollah" instructing Abu Ali Al-Hakim (the Houthi head of intelligence).

The Hezbollah leader tell Al-Hakim in the video that "the military sector of Hodeidah is very important. If Hodeidah falls, support for confronting the aggression will end." Hodeidah is a Red Sea port city which serves as the main entry port for commercial goods and aid amid the ongoing Yemen civil war.

In the video, the Hezbollah leader also tells Al-Hakim that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah "wishes that he could come for (Jihad) himself in Yemen."

"We left everything behind and came to stand with you. The Syrian war is about to end, and most of the Mujahideen (meaning those engaged in Jihad) will come to Yemen," added the leader, stressing that access to the sea needed to remain open in order that support from Iran and Hezbollah could continue to enter the country.

Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesman for the Saudi coalition, stated during the press conference that the Houthis have adopted sectarian ideology from Iran and rejected all UN efforts to reach a peaceful solution for the civil war in Yemen, according to Arab News.

Al-Maliki added that Iran feeds sectarian ideology into Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, saying that Iran transfers arms and brings "destruction and devastation" to the countries where its proxies operate.

Al-Maliki called Hezbollah a "cancer, saying it started by hurting the Lebanese and now has targeted civilians in Saudi Arabia and Yemen and "spreads destruction in the region and around the world."

The spokesman claimed that Hasan Irloo, the Iranian envoy to Yemen who recently died after being infected with the novel coronavirus, was leading military operations in the country. Al-Maliki added that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) dictates what the Houthis do.

The spokesman also reported that the Houthis had threatened global shipping lines by placing 247 naval mines and 100 explosive-laden boats in the sea. Additionally, the Houthis have launched 430 ballistic missiles and 851 explosive drones towards Saudi Arabia since the conflict began.

Al-Maliki added that the Houthis were using Sanaa International Airport to store and launch ballistic missiles, claiming that the Saudi coalition has not affected the operational capacity of the airport and only targeted warehouses holding drones.

The spokesman warned that the Saudi coalition knows where the leaders of the Houthis are located and was "warning them for the last time." Al-Maliki also warned that any sites used by the Houthis to store weapons would lose their immunity.

Later on Sunday, Houthi Information Minister Dhaif Allah Al-Shami claimed that the Saudi coalition did not provide any evidence for their claims that Iranian and Hezbollah experts being present in Yemen. "If we had experts from Hezbollah and Iran providing support, we would be proud of them," said Al-Shami in an interview with the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV.

Al-Shami additionally claimed that the battle against the Houthis was launched in order to stop their solidarity with the Palestinians.

In September, Defense Minister Benny Gantz claimed that Iran is training militias in a number of countries to operate and manufacture UAVs, including Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria.

Earlier this month, the ALMA Research Center reported that Akram a-Sayed, a military expert with Hezbollah's Unit 3800, was killed while fighting with the Houthis on the frontline in the Marib province of Yemen. Unit 2800 advises, trains and assists Shi'ite proxies, especially the Houthis and militias in Iraq.

A-Sayed's work focused on missiles and UAVs, according to ALMA.

Tensions spiked between Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah recently after Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies expressed outrage at comments made by then Lebanese information minister George Kordahi seemingly in support of the Houthis. The countries took diplomatic steps such as returning their ambassadors from Lebanon during the spat.

Kordahi eventually resigned in an attempt to stop the diplomatic spat.

In June, Nasrallah said that Hezbollah was in contact with the Houthis in order to create a "regional equation" which would attack Israel for "the protection of Jerusalem."