Arab Coalition denies supplying Yemen militants with US weapons
Arming groups coalition is fighting, such as the Houthis, Al Qaeda and ISIS, is illogical, spokesman says
The Saudi-led Arab Coalition supporting Yemen's government has rejected reports that it was allowing weapons provided by the Unites States to reach the Houthi rebels and extremist groups in the country such as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Pensinsula.
Coalition spokesman Col Turki Al Malki on Saturday strongly denied the claims, which were first reported by CNN, and said the coalition viewed such reports with concern.
Col Al Malki "stressed the coalition countries’ commitment to confront and defeat the illegal Houthi takeover of Yemen, in addition to decisively confronting other terrorist groups such as ISIS and AQAP, rendering the idea of supplying weapons to these groups illogical", according to a statement released on the UAE state news agency Wam.
Col Al Malki said what was shown in the media reports were military vehicles that were damaged and being evacuated. He said 155 vehicles had already been taken out of the country and another 55 were being prepared for removal.
He said the coalition took claims of other parties obtaining weapons of any kind seriously.
The coalition allies and its partners have cooperated in "identifying and targeting a number of lethal AQAP terrorists" and had driven the terror group from a number of cities that they managed to seize in the power vacuum created by the Houthi rebellion.
Al Qaeda no longer held any territory in Yemen as a result of these and other operations with US support, Col Al Malki said, and the coalition would continue to counter AQAP and work with international partners to do so.
Updated: February 9, 2019 10:49 PM