Iranian-made parts found in explosives that Houthis use to fight the war in Yemen
To fight Arab Coalition forces, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have standardized and mass-produced landmines and improvised explosive devices with Iranian-made components, according to a new report released Wednesday.
Evidence collected by experts at the Conflict Armament Research (CAR) organization also shows that improvised mines and explosive devices (IEDs) “are mass-produced by Houthi forces on a scale only previously achieved by Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria.”
“The use of landmines and IEDs is a growing threat in Yemen and one that will persist long after the current phase of the conflict concludes,” CAR’s report said.
Since March 2015, Yemen has been locked in a ruinous war pitting the Saudi Arabian-led Arab Coalition forces, which back the internationally recognized government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi against the Houthi rebels, supported by Iran.
The war has devastated the already-impoverished Yemen, killing an estimated 10,000 people and turning the nation at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula into war-ravaged nightmare.
The British-based CAR organization which documents the supply of weapons, ammunition and military materiel in active armed conflicts reached its conclusions after conducting multiple missions to Yemen over the past two years.
While Iranian officials have long rejected accusations from Saudi Arabia that it provides financial and military support to the Houthis, CAR found otherwise.
Specifically, its experts noted that conventional mines from Belgian, Italian, Chinese and German manufacturers were used in the conflict but deadly IEDs often replied upon electronic components from Iran, many times in clandestine ways.
“The most recent seizures of IED electronics reveal attempts to conceal their provenance [from Iran],” the report said.
In March, CAR found explosives camouflaged to resemble rocks that were similar to devices U.S. and Israeli investigators have recovered from Hezbollah and in Iraq. In both cases, experts suspected the weapons originated in Iran.
The report also found that Houthis were using weapons that relied upon electronic components connected to an Iranian cargo ship, the Jihan 1, which Yemeni authorities seized in 2013.
United Nations experts, CAR noted, concluded that Iran was “at the center” of the Jihan 1 operation.