Yemen 'has evidence of Hizballah's involvement in war'

Yemen 'has evidence of Hizballah's involvement in war'
2 min read
25 February, 2016
The Lebanese Shia movement is supporting Houthi rebels fighting the Yemeni government, officials have said.
Houthis shocked world powers when they took control of Yemen's capital in September [Getty]
Yemen has accused the Lebanese group Hizballah of interfering in the country's internal affairs, citing "physical evidence".

The Gulf-backed government said Hizballah was training Houthi rebels in their fight against the Saudi-led coalition and government forces on the borders of Saudi Arabia.

Officials said they had "many documents and physical evidence" to back their claims, and suggested it would be hard for the group to deny the accusations.

The announcement comes amid growing tensions between Gulf States and Lebanon because of Hizballah's "political stances in the region".

Saudi Arabia this week cancelled a $4 billion aid deal to the Lebanese national army as a show of economic force.

The situation further escalated when a campaign to ban Gulf citizens from travelling to Lebanon was launched by the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia's Gulf allies were quick to follow in its footsteps, with travel bans issued from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and most recently Qatar.

Yemen has a long history of accusing Iran - a vocal supporter of the Houthis and Hizballah - of funding the rebels and providing them with military weapons.

Iranian warships seized en route to Yemen were allegedly found to be carrying arms for the rebel group, according to the Saudi-led coalition.

However, Tehran has denied any involvement in aiding the Houthis bid to control Yemen - a claim backed by senior US officials, including President Barack Obama, who said Iran had "advised the Houthis against taking the capital" in September last year.

"When the Houthis started moving, that wasn't on orders from Soleimani, that wasn't on an order from the IRGC," Obama said. "That was an expression of the traditional Houthi antagonism towards Sanaa, and some of the machinations of the former president, [Ali Abdullah] Saleh, who was making common cause out of expediency with the Houthis."

Saudi Arabia, along with its allies, are currently fighting the Houthis in Yemen after the rebels attempted a coup last year.

The aerial-led campaign aims to reinstate Abdrabbuh Hadi's government that has temporarily set up base in the southern coastal city of Aden.