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article imageYemen govt accuses Iran of arming Huthis with drones

By AFP     Apr 14, 2018 in World

The Yemeni government on Saturday accused Iran of supplying Shiite Huthi rebels with drones used for cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh said Wednesday it had shot down two drones in the south of the kingdom as well as intercepting ballistic missiles fired from rebel-held parts of Yemen, the latest in a series of similar incidents.

The Saudi-backed government said in a statement Saturday that the drones are "made in Iran".

It added that Yemen's military did not possess such aircraft and it was "impossible to manufacture them locally".

Iran backs the Huthis, who seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, prompting a Saudi-led military coalition to intervene against the rebels the following year.

But Tehran has repeatedly denied arming the rebels, which would violate a United Nations weapons embargo slapped on Yemen in 2015.

Riyadh said its air defences between Wednesday and Friday intercepted five ballistic missiles and two drones launched from rebel-held northern Yemen.

Saudi Arabia in March 2015 launched a coalition of Arab states fighting to roll back the Huthi rebels in Yemen and restore the country's internationally-recognised government to power.

Nearly 10,000 people have since been killed in Yemen's conflict, in what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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