The Saudi led Arab coalition said Thursday that Beirut’s southern suburbs, a stronghold of the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah, is the point of origin of weapons and missiles used by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
Colonel Turki Al-Malki, who acts as the spokesperson for the Arab Coalition, told CNN that weapons sent to Houthi rebels are being smuggled from “Dahieh, passing by Syria, then Iran.”
“It then passes by sea to Yemen,” he said.
Al-Malki said Al Hudaydah port in Yemen has “now become the main point for smuggling missiles and other weapons.”
The Arab coalition, with Saudi Arabia at the helm, has been locked in a fierce fight with Houthi rebels ever since the overthrow of Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in 2011, who later fled the country.
The Houthis, part of Yemen’s Zaidi Shia Muslim minority, took control of the capital Sanaa before advancing north and capturing large swaths of the country. They have attempted to hit Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles on numerous occasions, with the majority being intercepted along the way.
Alarmed by the rise of a group they believed to be backed militarily by regional Shiite power Iran, Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Arab states began an air campaign aimed at restoring Hadi’s government.
A blockade has been put in place, restricting Yemeni’s access to basic food supply and medicine, with the UN labeling the condition a humanitarian disaster. A cholera epidemic has rampaged a large chunk of the population and up to 8.4 million people are facing imminent famine.
The coalition has received logistical and intelligence support from the US, UK, and France.