Iran’s IRGC giving assistance to Houthis: Iranian army chief of staff

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri

:: Yemen’s Houthi militia is receiving assistance from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said the chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Tuesday.

“We are giving [the Houthis] advisory and intellectual assistance and the IRGC is in charge of this,” said Bagheri, adding that Iran “will stand by the Yemeni people until the end.”

While Bagheri admitted providing assistance to the Houthis, he said that Tehran would like to provide further support but was unable to do so. “Things are a little different in Yemen,” said Bagheri, comparing the country to Syria and Iraq where the IRGC provides more “help.”

“Today, Yemen is under a complete blockade, and all of its paths are blocked, and not even medicine can be delivered there,” claimed Bagheri, adding: “How can one send several-meter-long missiles to Yemen when it is not possible to send medicine there?”

Vice commander of the IRGC Ali Fadavi had made similar remarks back in May, saying that Iran helps the Houthis as much as it can, but not as much as it would like to, due to the “blockade of Yemen.”

In November 2018, Iran for the first time acknowledged being involved in the Yemen conflict when then-IRGC head Mohammad Ali Jafari said Iran provided advisory assistance to its allies in Yemen.

Iran has been accused of proving financial and military support to the Houthi militia in Yemen on several occasions.

Arab Coalition forces have provided evidence of Iran’s weapon smuggling to Yemen. Speaking at a press conference on May 31, 2019, the Arab Coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki presented evidence that Iran is supplying missiles, drones, and explosive-laden ships to the Houthi militia.

Al-Maliki also showed evidence of Iranian experts training Houthis in Yemen, as well as a map showing the ballistic missile field launched by the Houthis toward Saudi Arabia. Al-Maliki showed reporters photographs of Iranian naval weapons, including mines and bombs.

The Houthis have claimed responsibility for the September 14 attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, which quoted two Saudi Arabian officials in talks with the Houthis, Houthi members have admitted that they covered for Iran by claiming the attacks.

The Arab Coalition and the US have also produced evidence that the attacks came from Iran itself and not Yemen.

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