Yemen Has Become Iran's Testing Ground for New Weapons

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall - Iran has turned Yemen into a testing ground for various weapons it is developing. The Houthi rebels, who have taken over parts of northern Yemen including the capital, Sana'a, are getting ongoing assistance from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), mainly via Hizbullah trainers, in the use of missiles and rockets, along with drones and explosive devices. On Feb. 10, Abd al-Malik al-Houthi, leader of the Houthis in Yemen, said that they were beginning to manufacture drones, surface-to-air missiles that can intercept Saudi-led coalition planes, as well as missiles "that can hit Saudi territory and beyond." Since the beginning of the year, the Houthis have increased their missile fire from Yemeni territory at targets in Saudi Arabia, including airports, along with missile fire at coalition targets in Yemeni territory. Hizbullah advisers are taking part in some of the missile launches. Sources in the U.S. Navy believe the Jan. 30 attack on the Saudi frigate Al-Madinah near the Yemeni port of Hudeida was carried out by an unmanned, remote-controlled boat provided by the IRGC Navy. Hamas and Hizbullah are already deploying unmanned aerial and naval craft manufactured by Iran, or built with Iranian know-how, against Israel. The writer is a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center and at Alcyon Risk Advisors.

2017-03-03 00:00:00

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