Al-Qaeda using Iranian weapons in south Yemen

Security forces in southern Yemen have reportedly encountered Iranian weapons and explosives used by extremist groups that were manufactured in areas controlled by the Houthis, with Iranian expertise, Yemeni officials said.

This strongly suggests that Iran is using terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) to serve its agenda in Yemen, as it is doing with the Houthis, they said.

Forces backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been leading security campaigns in Shabwa and Abyan provinces to hunt down al-Qaeda elements.

The Iranian weapons and explosives that terrorist groups have used against the southern forces in Abyan and Shabwa provinces were manufactured in Houthi-controlled areas, Frontline Human Rights director Wedad al-Doh said in an August statement.

In a video report titled, “Killer under the sand”, released in August, the rights group reveals that explosives and mines used by Iran’s proxies in the Shabwa districts of Bihan, Usaylan and Ain are identical to those used by terror groups.

Southern forces in Abyan and Shabwa encountered these Iranian weapons, explosives and mines during security campaigns they are carrying out in pursuit of ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Al-Doh called on Yemen’s Ministry of Human Rights to request that international human rights bodies send international analysts to examine the samples.

These analysts would help determine the extent of the link or relationship that exists between the Houthis and terror groups with regard to the use of these types of mines and explosives that target the lives of Yemeni civilians, she said.

Recent incidents in Abyan and Shabwa confirm the correlation between the release of a number of al-Qaeda detainees from Houthi prisons and a spike in terrorist attacks and bombings, said Mohammed.

“Iran is involved in supporting terrorist groups in Yemen and is taking advantage of al-Qaeda and ISIS activity in the south to serve its agenda,” said Deputy Minister of Justice Faisal al-Majeedi.

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