Iranian regime has ‘lost all legitimacy in the international arena,’ UK panel told
AL-MUKALLA: The head of Yemen’s Presidential Council on Thursday accused Iran of violating international treaties by supplying deadly weapons to Yemen’s Houthi militia.
Rashad Al-Alimi told military officials in the city of Aden that Iran has continued to supply arms to the Houthis, in violation of a UN Security Council resolution and other international conventions, Yemen’s official SABA news agency reported.
His criticism of Iran followed news that the French Navy had seized a shipment of arms, including thousands of machine guns and anti-tank missiles, coming from Iran and destined for the Houthis.
Yemeni governments have for years accused Iran of fueling instability by providing the Houthis with arms, military expertise, money and media coverage.
Also on Thursday, a delegation of EU diplomats announced the conclusion of their tour of Aden, reiterated their support for UN-led peace efforts to end the war and called for the UN-brokered ceasefire to be converted into a more lasting peace deal .
They also urged the Yemeni government to implement institutional reforms, improve public services and restore economic stability.
“EU Heads of Mission reiterated the European Union’s unwavering support for the work of the UN Special Envoy on Yemen and reiterated the call for constructive engagement in his efforts to extend and expand the ceasefire and transform it into a just and inclusive political solution .” the delegation said in a statement.
Separately, at least two Yemeni government soldiers and an undetermined number of Houthis have been killed in fighting outside the city of Taiz over the past three days, a Yemeni military official told Arab News on Thursday.
Abdul Basit Al-Baher said the Houthis had bombed and attacked government-controlled locations on the ground in almost all outskirts of Taiz.
For the past 24 hours, the Houthis have deployed military forces in the outskirts, firing explosive and reconnaissance drones at government soldiers, presumably in preparation for further attacks in the coming days.
“The enemy is desperately trying to break through the national army’s defenses. The national army thwarted their attacks, killing and wounding many of them,” Al-Baher said, adding that the recent Houthi attacks took place in the Kelaba area, near an air defense facility and near an abandoned airport to the west and northwest of Taiz.
Yemen’s third largest city has been under siege for the past eight years by the Houthis, who blocked its main exits after failing to take control of Taiz amid fierce resistance from government forces and resistance fighters.
The siege has prevented life support supplies and humanitarian aid from reaching local people and has forced civilians to navigate bumpy and dangerous routes in and out of the city.
To the dismay of Taiz residents, the UN-brokered ceasefire has failed to ease the Houthi blockade or end the militia’s deadly drone, mortar and rocket attacks on civilian areas.
The ceasefire, which came into effect last April, collapsed in October when the Houthis refused to extend it or open roads to Taiz, insisting that the Yemeni government first pay public servants in their regions and the oil proceeds before extending the ceasefire.