LONDON: Iran appears to have sent deadly drones to its Houthi allies in Yemen, according to Newsweek, in an extent that could further inflame already high tensions in the region.
Images seen by Newsweek and confirmed by an expert on Tehran’s activities in the region indicated the presence of Iranian Shahed-136 ammunition, also known as “suicide drones”, deployed in the province of Jouf, in northern Yemen, controlled by the Iranians. Houthis.
“The Iranians have delivered advanced drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) to their Houthi proxies in Yemen,” the expert told Newsweek.
“They deploy or preposition these drones forward in order to launch an attack against a variety of targets that they have within range. What they’re trying to achieve is plausible denial, like being able to hit an American, Saudi, Gulf, or Israeli target, then escalate the strike back to Yemen, and have deniable hope against anything. sort of retribution.
The deployment of drones in Yemen comes against a backdrop of strong tensions in the region, pushed by Iran and its proxies.
At the end of last month, a ballistic missile fired by the Houthis hit Aden airport, in an attempted attack on the country’s newly formed government.
Following the incident, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his country would designate the Houthis as a terrorist organization, in a move hailed by regional governments.
The Houthis, Pompeo said, are “a murderous Iran-backed militia” guilty “of terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilians, infrastructure and commercial shipping.”
Iran on Wednesday launched large-scale military exercises in the Gulf of Oman and released images to state media of its forces firing multiple cruise missiles.
In addition, the UN said Thursday that Iran had informed it that the country had started installing equipment for the production of uranium metal, which would constitute another violation of the nuclear deal with world powers.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud denounced Tehran’s behavior and accused it of sowing chaos in the region.
“The Iranian regime must change its philosophy regarding its role in the region,” he said. “Iranian citizens should be a priority, and when that happens things will change in the region.”