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Houthis warn Turkey against Yemen intervention

Supporters of the Houthis participate in a march to mark the 5th anniversary of Houthis' control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, on 21 September 2019 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]
Supporters of the Houthis in Sanaa, Yemen on 21 September 2019 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

A member of the Supreme Political Council in Yemen, the executive body of the Houthi-led government based in Sanaa, has warned Turkey against any intervention in the country. Should it do so, said Abdul Wahab Al-Mahbashi, it will fare no better than Saudi Arabia, which has been leading a US-supported war in the country since 2015.

Al-Mahbashi was quoted by Iran's IRNA earlier today as saying, "If Turkish soldiers enter Yemen they will have a fate worse than that of the aggressors who preceded them."

He pointed out that, "With all the oil [money] in their possession, the United States and the Persian Gulf Arabs' media outlets and mercenaries were defeated in Yemen and forced to retreat and find a way out of the self-made quagmire." If Turkey enters the battlefield in Yemen, the Houthi official added, "it is a sign that the country is not governed by wisdom and prudence, and that Turkish officials are suffering from irrationality and short-sightedness."

READ: After Libya, will Turkey defeat the UAE in Yemen?

His comments come amid reports that Turkish military vehicles and equipment have been transferred to ports in Somalia prior to being shipped to the Yemeni port of Qena. It is believed that they are intended for the Saudi-backed Islah militia fighting on behalf of the, internationally-recognised Yemeni government based in Riyadh.

Lebanon's Al-Akhbar reported last week that Turkey's alleged role in Yemen has escalated after the improvement in relations between Ankara and Riyadh. Syrian mercenaries are said to have been mobilised to fight in Yemen "in defence" of the city of Marib, which is the last stronghold of Saudi-backed forces in the north of the country. The latter are fighting against the Yemeni armed forces which are allied to the Houthis.

Despite his warning, Al-Mahbashi said that he did not believe that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would commit Turkish soldiers in Yemen, but will instead use mercenaries, similar to his interventions in Libya and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. "Invading Yemen will not have a happy ending for Erdogan himself as well as the country's government and military," he insisted.

READ: Saudi reconciliation could see Turkey on the wrong side of history in Yemen

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