Yemen’s rebel chief yesterday praised Iran and its ally Hezbollah, singling out the Lebanese group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah for his “solidarity”.
But Abdulmalik al-Huthi, whose fighters are battling Yemen’s Saudi-backed government, again denied accusations of receiving smuggled weapons.
In a speech broadcast on the rebels’ Al Masirah TV, Huthi praised “the glory and dignity of Iran” and thanked Nasrallah for “solidarity with the people of Yemen from his position of greatness”.
While Iran acknowledges support for the Houthis’ cause, it denies arming the rebels.
Saudi Arabia has also accused Hezbollah of sending its fighters into Yemen. The party has denied the accusations.
“The US, Saudi Arabia and the UAE know that talk of rockets entering Yemen through the Hodeidah port are completely false,” Huthi said via video link from an undisclosed location.
Yemen’s government, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and their regional allies, is battling the Houthis for control of the country. The conflict is now centred on the Red Sea city of Hodeidah, home to the country’s most valuable port and controlled by the Houthis.
The United Nations, which recognises the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, is pushing for a truce between rival parties to avoid further civilian suffering in a country teetering on the brink of famine.
Huthi, who does not appear in public, said he had agreed to grant the UN “supporting logistical and technical role” in Hodeidah, accusing the Saudi-led coalition of rejecting the offer.
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