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A ‘historical pattern’ of weapons transfers to Yemen
 
10/20/2020
 

Iran: The Source of Houthi Power

A ‘historical pattern’ of weapons transfers to Yemen

BY WARREN REINSCH

The Iran-backed Houthi rebel group claimed on February 15 that it shot down a Tornado fighter jet belonging to Saudi Arabia. Houthi spokesman Yahya al-Saree said on Houthi-run Al-Masirah television that the jet was downed in the Al-Jawf governorate in northern Yemen by an "advanced surface-to-air missile."

Later that day, Saudi Press Agency released an official coalition statement claiming that the Royal Saudi Air Force Tornado aircraft "crashed" while supporting the Yemeni government forces. One of Al Jazeera’s senior political analysts called the Houthis ability a "very significant" development, claiming that this new capability "would be a game-changer."

Since 2017, Houthi rebel forces have shown a significant rise in military capabilities. Its ballistic missiles are capable of traveling almost 1,300 kilometers before striking their target, its drones now carry explosive payloads, it has advanced sea mines to hinder travel through the nearby Bab el-Mandeb strait, and now the rebels may even have "advanced" surface-to-air missile batteries capable of shooting down Saudi jets.

This raises questions: Where are these technical advancements coming from?

 
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