The United Nations panel of experts has found fresh evidence of Iranian weapons in Yemen.
The UN experts submitted a report to the Security Council yesterday, obtained by the Associated Press saying that ballistic missiles and drones which “show characteristics similar to weapons systems known to be produced in the Islamic Republic of Iran” are being used by the Houthis.
“It seems that despite the targeted arms embargo, the Houthis continue to have access to ballistic missiles and UAVs to continue and possibly intensify their campaign against targets in KSA [Saudi Arabia],” the report stated.
The panel investigated ten pieces of debris from ten missiles in Saudi Arabia and found markings that suggested Iranian origin. The experts are investigating claims that Iran may have supplied the Houthis with monthly donations valued at $30 million, although Tehran has categorically denied providing any military or financial support.
The panel went on to claim that there’s a “high probability” that missiles were created outside Yemen, but shipped to the Houthis in parts – and then assembled by the Houthis.
Adding to the potential fresh evidence over weapons transfers, the panel put forward the idea that Iran may be in a position to play a role for peace in Yemen.
“The panel believes that Iran might now be willing to play a constructive role in finding a peaceful solution for Yemen, as evident in the country’s, ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to broker a ceasefire for the holy month of Ramadan together with some European nations,” the report said.
The conflict in Yemen escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains. The group had taken control of the capital, Sanaa, and large swathes of the country forcing the internationally backed government into exile.
Three years on, more than 15,000 Yemenis have been killed, according to the UN, and millions continue to suffer in what it has declared as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.