Iranian missile expertise used by Houthis 'could spread to al-Qaeda', claims Saudi ambassador

Iranian missile expertise used by Houthis 'could spread to al-Qaeda', claims Saudi ambassador
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Yemen warned that alleged sharing of ballistic missile knowhow between Iran and the Houthis could fall into the wrong hands.
2 min read
25 February, 2018
UN investigators claim Iranian missiles were fired into Saudi Arabia by Houthi rebels [Getty]
Iran's support of rebel Houthi factions in Yemen could mean that ballistic missile expertise falls into the hands of extremist groups such as al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Yemen Mohammed al-Jaber claimed on Saturday, according to The Telegraph.

"Iran is not just sending weapons, they are transferring the knowhow in ballistic missiles to Yemenis," al-Jabir said.

He added that such expertise "could perhaps be transferred to the militia in Syria, maybe to al-Qaeda, maybe to ISIL", referring to the Islamic State group.

A UN panel of experts found that missiles fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels at Saudi Arabia last year were made in Iran, which Iran strongly denies.

The UN Security Council will vote on Monday on a resolution to condemn Iran for arming the rebels, in what is widely regarded as a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia taking place on Yemeni soil. 

Jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda have been gaining control of swathes of Yemeni land since the country was thrust into a chaotic and destructive civil war in 2011.

The Yemeni government, backed by Saudi Arabia, has been leading an offensive to take back control of eastern oil-rich provinces from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The Islamic State group too have been taking advantage of political chaos in Yemen.

On Sunday the group claimed responsibility for a car bombing in the southern port city of Aden, which killed six people and wounded dozens more.