Photo: AFP
US Naval ships in the Black Sea.
Photo: AFP

Report: US working to stop Iran arms reaching Yemen

US expanding intervention in Yemen, has forces board Panamanian freighter suspected of delivering Iranian weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen, Wall Street Journal reports.

The US has expanded its intervention in the current Yemen crisis in order to prevent Iran from aiding the fighting in the country.



According to a report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Sunday, US forces aboard the USS Sterett boarded a Panamanian freighter suspected of delivering Iranian weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen.


Fighting in Aden, Yemen. (Photo: AFP) (Photo: AFP)
Fighting in Aden, Yemen. (Photo: AFP)


The search, conducted on April 1, came up empty and marked the first US Navy's boarding operation in a growing effort to ensure Iran does not supply the Houthi fighters with surface-to-air missiles that could be a game-changer in the fighting and threaten the Saudi-led airstrikes against the Houthis.


The US has been helping Saudi Arabia with intelligence information and recently announced it would expand its assistance to help optimize airstrikes in Yemen and reduce adverse impacts on civilians.


Destruction caused by Saudi airstrikes in Sana'a. (Photo: EPA) (Photo: EPA)
Destruction caused by Saudi airstrikes in Sana'a. (Photo: EPA)


According to the WSJ report, the Saudi airstrikes have already struck hospitals, schools, refugee camps and residential neighborhoods.


The airstrikes began two weeks ago after Houthi rebels forced US-backed President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee the country. The rebels have taken over the capitol of Yemen and flooded much of the country.


US and Saudi officials have said that Iran has been providing arms, weapons, funding and training for the Houthi rebels for years, according to the WSJ report. Iran has denied the claims.


The Saudi ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, presented more than 100 high-value targets at the CIA headquarters in order for them to be examined by US intelligence.


The examination by the Pentagon found that several of the targets were of little military value, while others were labeled high value targets but were located in population centers. The US provided the Saudis with satellite imagery but did not choose targets for the Saudis to strike.


The US government fears a growing indignation among the Sunnis in Yemen and other Arab countries, and questions the ability of the Saudis to change the situation in Yemen through aerial attacks.


The American government also fears Saudi Arabia will expand its airstrikes in northern Yemen – a move that could lead to a war of attrition that could last years. Thus, the US warned the Saudis to limit their airstrikes to solely progress Houthi progress.


Meanwhile, the Saudis say that the airstrikes must continue because the tribes in Yemen "appreciate the strong." The Saudis biggest accomplishment thus far has been taking the port city of Aden.


As the fighting continues, the US hopes that a stalemate on the battlefield will force the parties to reach the negotiating table before the Yemeni military is harmed to the point the country will no longer be able to be stabilized and have its politicians return.


פרסום ראשון: 04.13.15, 15:41
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