Shia Houthi rebels are smuggling “ballistic missiles” from Iran through the Al-Hudeidah Seaport on Yemen’s western coast, Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Daghar claimed Wednesday.
He made the assertion while visiting the coastal city of Aden, Yemen’s interim capital, according to the official SABA news agency.
“The Yemeni government is facilitating the entry of humanitarian aid through seaports in liberated areas with a view to distributing it countrywide,” bin Daghar said.
“But the Houthis are using Al-Hudeidah Port to smuggle weapons [into Yemen] -- including ballistic missiles -- from Iran,” he added.
“This has served to prolong the war and increase the suffering of Yemeni people in areas under Houthi control,” the prime minister said.
Yemen’s internationally-recognized government has repeatedly accused Iran of arming the Houthis -- allegations Tehran denies.
In recent months, the Houthis have launched several missiles into Saudi territory, including some fired at capital Riyadh -- all of which were successfully intercepted, according to the Saudi authorities.
Yemen has been wracked by violence and chaos since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies -- who accuse the Houthis of serving as Iranian proxies -- launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.
U.N.-sponsored peace talks held in Kuwait City the following year failed to bring an end to the conflict.
The ongoing violence has devastated basic services in Yemen, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the U.N. to describe the situation as one of “the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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