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Iran Caught Redhanded Smuggling Weapons To Yemen As Civil War There Now Threatens Lives Of 7 Million People

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The USS Mason (DDG 87), a guided missile destroyer, arrives at Port Canaveral, Florida, April 4, 2003. REUTERS/Karl Ronstrom/File photo
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The U.S. Navy has intercepted at least five shipments of Iranian weapons bound for the Ansar Allah (Houthi) Shiite Islamist rebel group in Yemen, U.S. Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan, who is in charge of American naval operations in the Middle East, told CNN last week.

The shipments contained missiles, sniper rifles, thousands of AK-47 automatic rifles and coastal defense systems, the Vice Admiral said.

The Navy is sure the weapons came from Iran after it examined GPS data aboard the ships and questioned the crews of the vessels.

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The ships that carried the shipments were typically fisher boats manned by unemployed fishermen who were hired by Iran.

The revelation by Donegan, who added that the shipments via sea began in April 2015, came after the Houthi rebels fired Chinese-made C802 missiles three times at U.S. Navy vessels that were patrolling the Gulf of Aden in October.

On Oct. 19, U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the top American commander in the Middle East, said that he was fairly certain Iran was behind the missile attacks on the USS Mason and two other U.S. Navy vessels, as well as a high-speed catamaran that was leased by the U.S. to the United Arab Emirates.

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The latter vessel was destroyed by a missile attack on Oct. 1, and the Iranians now say that the Obama Administration is withholding information on that attack and claim U.S. sailors died in what they call an attack “unprecedented since World War II.”

As Western Journalism reported on Oct. 13, congressmen say Iran used some of the $1.7 billion it received in cash from the Obama Administration as ransom for American hostages earlier this year to supply the Houthis with the missiles that were launched at the U.S. Army vessels in the Red Sea.

Some of the Iranian weapon shipments are unloaded in Yemen’s al-Hudaydah port that was captured by the Houthis in September 2014 and that is located 65 miles southwest of Sanaa, while others come via the border with Oman, Western officials revealed earlier this month.

Tuesday, the Yemenite coast guard seized an Iranian fishing boat that had entered Yemen’s territorial waters. Colonel Ali Salmeen of the Yemenite Navy said that an investigation into the incident was underway.

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Over the weekend the Iranians finally responded to the allegations about their involvement in the Yemenite war.

Iranian officials launched a blistering attack on the U.S. for suggesting it was smuggling weapons to Yemen and said that the U.S. should be taken to court over alleged war crimes in the war-torn country that is on the verge of collapsing.

“Such false claims are made while warmongers and traders of death and destruction keep on selling and shipping fatal weapons to Saudi Arabia despite widespread criticisms,” Bahram Qasemi, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said.

Qasemi added that bombs and U.S.-made missiles are “raining down on defenseless Yemeni civilians in schools, hospitals, prisons and houses by the Saudi coalition on a daily basis.”

He then accused the U.S. of committing war crimes in Yemen.

“This has no name but war crimes,” Qasemi said. “This is a tragedy which will always remain as a black mark in the history of mankind.”

The Iranian spokesman also denied that Iran was behind the recent missile attacks on U.S. Navy ships but other Iranian officials made no secret of Iran’s support for the Houthis and its involvement in the conflict in Yemen.

For example, the deputy commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps last week said “the culture of the Islamic Republic” has contributed to the “resistance” in Yemen that is “gaining victory every day.”

As Western Journalism reported Oct. 17, the Iranian leaders refer to the war in Yemen as the battle for Karbala, a reference to the place in Saudi Arabia where the grandson of the prophet Muhammad, Hussein ibn Ali, died in 680 AD. They are driven by the belief that turmoil in Yemen is a prerequisite for the Shiite messianic era that involves the coming of the Shiite “Messiah” Mahdi, the hidden Twelfth Imam.

This explains why the conflict in Yemen is increasingly spilling over to Saudi Arabia, which is targeted by ballistic missiles from Yemenite soil on a daily base.

On Friday, for example, Saudi Arabia reported a Houthi missile attack on Mecca while the Shiite rebel group claimed it had targeted Jiddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, deep in Saudi Arabia.

The ballistic missile was reportedly intercepted by Saudi Arabia’s Patriot anti-missile system and neutralized 40 miles from the Muslim holy city.

The Obama Administration also reacted to the unprecedented attack on Islam’s holiest place.

“There is no military solution to this conflict and (we) urge all sides to exercise restraint and immediately and publicly agree to an unconditional cessation of hostilities,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

A previous ceasefire was blown to smithereens within just three days after the parties accused each other of blatant violations.

The UN warned on Monday that the lives of 7 million Yemenis are in danger because of a severe shortage of food while 370,000 children are suffering from severe malnutrition.

At the same time, the Obama Administration demanded an end to Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Yemenite war while calling upon the sides “to refrain from taking steps that escalate this violence and to commit to the cessation of hostilities.”

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