Al Houthi fighters chant slogans during a gathering to mobilise more fighters for the Iranian-backed militia, in Sanaa, Yemen, on February 20, 2020. Image Credit: AP

In another flagrant breach of United Nations resolutions, an Iranian ship, loaded with advanced weapons, was stopped on the coast of Yemen by the United States Navy last week.

The weapons and weapon components, believed to be of Iranian “design and manufacture” intended for Al Houthi militias in Yemen, were seized by the US Navy, according to reports.

The shipment is said to include dozens of Iranian-made copies of the Russian Kornet anti-tank guided missile and three Iranian-designed and manufactured surface-to-air missiles. The UN has repeatedly said its peace talks are progressing, following a de-escalation agreement reached in Stockholm over Al Hodeida port.

Despite the good intentions of the UN and the world community, the war [in Yemen] will not stop until they take a firm stand against this brazen breach of international resolutions.

- Gulf News

The agreement, signed in December 2018, was supposed to allow the UN to supervise the port’s facilities to speed up aid operations and stop the Al Houthis from smuggling weapons. The Al Houthis reneged on the deal and continue to use the port to smuggle advanced weapons, sent by their Iranian backers despite the embargo imposed by the UN.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition and the legitimate Yemeni government have significantly reduced their military operations in the past 12 months in the hope that a political deal, sought by the UN and supported by the US and other international players, would be reached to end the five-year-war that led to unprecedented human catastrophe in the poor Arab country.

The Arab coalition managed to liberate more than 85 per cent of Yemeni territory from the brutal grip of Al Houthi militias. Vital aid supplies now can be delivered smoothly to those liberated areas. Normal life is being slowly but steadily restored.

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However, some northern parts of Yemen, including the capital Sana’a, continue to suffer under the ruthless control of the Al Houthis, who have repeatedly shown no interest in any settlement.

They continue to shun all peace efforts. The latest weapons smuggling attempt is just another proof of their plans to prolong the war. They continue to threaten the security of Saudi Arabia through missile and drone attacks.

The recent seizure of the weapons shipment “is consistent with a historical pattern of Iranian smuggling of advanced weapons to the Al Houthis in Yemen,” the US Central Command said.

It is pointless to talk peace in Yemen while Iran and its Al Houthi proxies continue to fuel the conflict and threaten neighbouring countries. Despite the good intentions of the UN and the world community, the war will not stop until they take a firm stand against this brazen breach of international resolutions.