Israeli Weapons Found in Yemen, Iranian Report Charges

June 1, 2015

2 min read

Houthi rebels in Yemen have allegedly intercepted Israeli weapons inside the Saudi Arabian embassy in the city of Sana’a, Iranian news agency Fars reported Saturday. The report was widely carried Sunday in Israeli media, but according to The Times of Israel, could not be independently verified. It should be noted the US supplies most of Saudi Arabia’s military arms.

According to the semi-official Iranian news agency, the unspecified Israeli weapons were seized when rebels overran the Saudi embassy in retalliation for Saudi-led attacks on Houthi forces, driving 40 guards out of the compound. Saudi Arabia ordered its embassy closed in February, when fighting in Sana’a intensified.

The Iranian-backed rebels accused Riyadh of asking Israel to send advanced weapons to help forces loyal to deposed Yemenite president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The Houthis have been supported by the Islamic Republic since 2009, according to a May report by the UN.

In addition to the weapons accusations, rebels claim to have found documents revealing US plans to build a military base on Yemen’s Perim Island (alternatively called Birim or Miyoun in Arabic), which the report misattributed to Saudi Arabia. Perim Island is strategically located at the entrance to the Bab al-Mandeb strait of the Red Sea between Yemen and Djibouti. According to the Houthis, the naval base is intended “to protect American interests and protect Israel.”

This is not the first time the Fars news agency has published claims of Israeli weapons involved in the Yemen conflict. In early April, it quoted Yemeni army commander Taher Rasoul Zadami asserting, “The Saudis are using Israeli weapons in their raids on Yemen.”

Houthis seized the Yemenite capital of Sana’a back in the fall, and its president fled the country in March. According to the UN, over 1,870 people have been killed and more than 7,000 wounded in the conflict since March 19.


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