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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Yemen war: Arab coalition to reveal new evidence on Iran arming Houthis

Coalition spokesman Col Turki Al Maliki said he will hold a conference on Monday

Arab coalition spokesman Turki Al Malki will hold a conference on Monday to reveal new evidence proving Iran's involvement in the Yemen war. In this picture, taken on November 5, 2017, he is speaking at the King Salman Airbase in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Fayez Nureldine / AFP
Arab coalition spokesman Turki Al Malki will hold a conference on Monday to reveal new evidence proving Iran's involvement in the Yemen war. In this picture, taken on November 5, 2017, he is speaking at the King Salman Airbase in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Fayez Nureldine / AFP

The Arab coalition fighting on behalf of the internationally recognised government in Yemen will reveal new evidence proving Iran is arming the Houthi rebels.

Coalition spokesman Col Turki Al Malki said he will hold a conference on Monday at 4pm (Saudi Arabia time) during which Iranian ballistic missiles seized from the Houthis will be displayed.

“New evidence will reveal Iran’s involvement in smuggling ballistic missiles and weapons to the Houthi militia, which threatens regional and international security and spreads chaos,” he said late on Sunday.

The Iran-backed rebels have repeatedly launched ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia, which has intercepted them all.

On Sunday, a Saudi citizen sustained fragment injuries from a projectile fired by Houthis towards the kingdom's Najran city, reported the Saudi Press Agency.

Col Al Malki also said that the Houthi militia is targeting the main port of Hodeidah on the western coast using booby-trapped boats, which, he added, “is a serious threat to maritime navigation and international trade”.

Meanwhile, the military-run 26 September news site, said that the Houthis are using an Iranian army expert to restructure their militia on the battlefields.

“They are using an Iranian expert, who holds a European [passport], nicknamed Al Ameer, to lay out new military plans to help their offensive and keep them together despite their inevitable collapse,” a source said.

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French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday that the EU must discuss Iran's role in Syria and Yemen, as well as its ballistic missile programme.

"We must not exclude Iran's responsibility in the proliferation of ballistic missiles and in its very questionable role in the Near- and Middle East," he said.

Reuters reported last week that Britain, France and Germany have proposed fresh EU sanctions on Tehran over its ballistic missiles and its role in the Syria – where it is supporting forces loyal to President Bashar Al Assad.

The Saudi-led coalition – which includes the UAE – intervened in the Yemen war in 2015 at the request of Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

More than 10,000 people have been killed and more than two million displaced since the war broke out.

The United Nations says more than 22 million of the country's 25 million population need humanitarian assistance, including 11.3 million who are in acute need.