Yemen security chief tells Iran to stop backing rebels

Yemen security chief tells Iran to stop backing rebels

Yemen's security chief has told Iran to stop training and funding Shi'ite Muslim rebels who, along with al Qaeda-backed Islamists and southern separatists, are staging one of three insurgencies threatening to pull the chaotic country apart, DPA reported.

Major-General Ali al-Ahmadi, president of Yemen's National Security Board, also said al Qaeda appeared not to number more than 700-800 in the country, including a few hundred Saudis.

But the group's Yemeni wing, which has plotted attacks on international airlines and sworn to bring down Saudi Arabia's monarchy, had sleeper cells on top of this that authorities had yet to track down, he told Reuters on Sunday.

Ahmadi accused Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels who operate in northern Yemen near the border with Saudi Arabia - the world's top oil exporter which is competing with Shi'ite Iran for regional influence.

"Iran seized a chance to broaden the conflict to play a certain role," he said. "We have no hostility to Iran; all we ask is that they don't interfere."

"We have processed evidence of their presence and we have arrested a number of people and have sufficient evidence they are interfering," Ahmadi added in an interview on the sidelines of a conference in Bahrain.

Iran has already denied interfering in Yemen's affairs.

The Houthi movement, named after the tribe of its leader, says it represents the claims of Zaydi Shi'ite Muslims who ruled Yemen for over 1,000 years. Most Iranians follow a different Shi'ite sect but Yemeni officials say Houthis have travelled to Iran's seminary city of Qom for indoctrination.

Yemen said in July it had arrested members of a spy ring led by a former commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the state news agency Saba said, adding that the cell had operated in the Horn of Africa as well as Yemen. An Interior Ministry official said all those detained were Yemenis.

Houthis have survived repeated government attempts to crush them. They fought a brief war with Saudi Arabia in 2009 after their conflict with Yemeni forces spilled across the border.

Sanaa has invited them to join Yemen's national dialogue process aimed at reconciling the disparate groups that emerged before and during a political crisis last year.

Ahmadi also said the exact size of Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was unknown.

"Al Qaeda seems to me to not exceed 700-800 elements, but there are also sleeper cells we don't know about. The majority are Yemenis," Ahmadi said. "The second group are Saudis, of which there are hundreds, but it is very hard to be precise."

Islamist militants exploited protests last year against then-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to seize several towns in the south before a U.S.-backed government offensive drove them out. They included many Saudis who had fled after the kingdom crushed a wave of attacks in 2006.

Saudi officials have described AQAP as the kingdom's most serious security threat and have worked closely with Sanaa against the group.

Security analysts in the Gulf say Saudis comprise much of the leadership of AQAP, but that a series of recent defections and assassinations may have weakened morale.

"Saudis bring ideology, funding and bomb-making expertise to AQAP," Ahmadi said. "More than 13 nationalities have come to Yemen with al Qaeda. Most fighters are from inside the country but foreigners brought expertise and were misguiding and misleading young Yemeni people."

Early last month a group of 12 Saudis and a Yemeni killed two Saudi security guards in an ambush as they tried to cross into Yemen, leading to the deaths of four of the men and the capture of the others, Saudi state media said.

Security experts say Saudi Arabia, under the direction of its Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, has a strong presence in Yemen helping the government to infiltrate AQAP.

"There's full coordination between the counterpart services of the two countries to share information. There are different forms of units to co-ordinate," Ahmadi said.

In April a Saudi diplomat was kidnapped by al Qaeda in Aden and is still being held. Another was shot dead near his home in Sanaa last month.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Armenian PM calls Russia’s proposals on border delimitation with Azerbaijan acceptable
Armenian PM calls Russia’s proposals on border delimitation with Azerbaijan acceptable
France stands for launching demarcation, delimitation of Armenia-Azerbaijan borders
France stands for launching demarcation, delimitation of Armenia-Azerbaijan borders
Russian peacekeepers - guarantors of peace in Karabakh - President Putin
Russian peacekeepers - guarantors of peace in Karabakh - President Putin
Loading Bars
Latest
Finalists in tumbling among men announced at 28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Australia confirms two cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant
Zangazur Corridor to contribute to economic development of region - Turkish FM
President Ilham Aliyev participating in 15th Summit of Heads of ECO member-states in Turkmenistan (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Defense Ministry presents weekly review (VIDEO)
Final day of 28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions starts at National Gymnastics Arena in Baku (PHOTO)
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev arrives in Turkmenistan for visit (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani, Iranian FMs meet at Economic Cooperation Council's meeting in Ashgabat
Georgia imposes new regulations for citizens from 8 countries
Turkey, Turkmenistan sign deals, strengthen ties in Erdoğan's visit
Indonesia bans arrivals from 8 African countries to curb Omicron variant
Volume of goods loaded/unloaded in Iranian ports up
Azerbaijan’s 10M2021 volume of loans issued to energy, chemistry and natural resources decreases
Kyrgyz president leaves for Turkmenistan for working visit
Kyrgyzstan adds 41 fresh COVID-19 cases
Access to finance remains major challenge for small businesses in Georgia - IFC
847 more COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
Parliamentary elections begin in Kyrgyzstan
Cooperation with regional countries, Iran’s top priority - İranian president
Spanish police march in Madrid to protest against 'Gag Law' reform
Storm Arwen: Third person dies as gale-force winds hit UK
U.S. imposes travel ban from eight African countries over Omicron variant
Israel to ban entry of foreigners from all countries over Omicron
Saudi Arabia allows entry of all travelers who received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Two workers die in accident preparing Spanish stadium for cup game
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on November 28
UK, Germany and Italy detect Omicron coronavirus variant cases
Results of Sochi summit fully reflect position of Azerbaijan - Russian expert
Awarding ceremony third day held as part of 28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions in Baku (PHOTOS)
Winners in synchronized trampoline jumping at 28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions in Baku determined
Baku names winners of World Age Group Competitions in jumping on double mini-trampoline for men
28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions: Russian gymnast takes first place in tumbling
Baku names winners of World Age Group Competitions in jumping on double mini-trampoline for women
Azercell announces contest on social network
Gymnast from Kazakhstan win gold in acrobatic jumping at 28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions
Best moments of third day of the World Age Group Competitions in Trampoline Gymnastics and Tumbling in Baku (PHOTOS)
World age group competition in Baku - Russian gymnast wins first place in individual trampoline jumping
Russian gymnast wins gold in individual trampoline jumping in Baku
Turkmenistan boosts imports of electrical goods from Turkey
Turkmenistan agrees to participate in Lapis-Lazuli project
Smoking to be banned in taxis in Georgia
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds
11,358 people received COVID-19 vaccine in Kyrgyzstan over past day
Prepared hard for the 28th World Competition in Baku - athlete from Denmark
Finalists in synchronized trampoline jumping among men and women announced at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Finalists in individual trampoline jumping among men announced at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Azerbaijan expects mutual steps from Armenia towards achieving peace - FM
Azerbaijani, Turkish FMs meet at Economic Cooperation Council's meeting in Ashgabat
Phone conversation held between Presidents of Azerbaijan and Belarus
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,617 more COVID-19 cases, 1,979 recoveries
ECO Council of FMs supports Azerbaijan's proposal to establish Clean Energy Center (PHOTO)
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange revealed
Finalists in double mini-trampoline jumping among men announced at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Finalists in acrobatic jumping among men named at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Azerbaijani gymnast Seljan Mahsudova reaches finals of World Age Group competition
Kazakhstani Astana- Motors to produce Hyundai cars in Uzbekistan
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for November 27
Finalists in acrobatic jumping among women announced at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Novavax developing vaccine that targets new COVID-19 variant
Eni sells some stakes to Snam
28th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions underway in Baku (PHOTOS)
Azerbaijan reveals financing of pensions, benefits for 9M2021
Turkish company to organize cotton-textile cluster in Uzbekistan
Finalists in double mini-trampoline among women announced at 28th FIG World Age Group Competitions in Baku
Georgia’s imports from Turkmenistan triple
Coach set goal to enter top three in individual trampoline jumping - Russian gymnast
Uzbek National Bank to issue its bonds on Russian Exchange
33,946 new Covid cases registered in Russia in 24 hours
Georgia to replace damaged buildings – Mayor of Tbilisi
Meeting in Sochi - new step towards sustainable peace in South Caucasus - Turkey's presidential administration
Turkey's cargo traffic via its Gulluk port for 9M2021 revealed
GUAM shares reviews of results of Georgia's presidency
Uzbekistan to sell shares of its two banks to Russian banks
EBRD to support green innovation in Uzbekistan
Turkmenistan's On Dogan to scale up production of vegetables, melons
Turkey shares data on cargo shipment via its ports from Greece for 9M2021
Azerbaijan limits import of poultry products from number of countries
Number of flights from Iran’s Shahid Beheshti International Airport soars
Turkey discloses volume of cargo shipment via its ports from Italy for 9M2021
Iran resumes activity of several enterprises in Sistan and Baluchestan Province
Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan notes increase in agricultural production for 10M2021
Relations between Baku, Moscow experience highest dev’t stage in history of Azerbaijan's independence – experts
Sri Lanka bans travellers from 6 African nations due to Omicron COVID variant
We feel very comfortable in National Gymnastics Arena in Baku - Israeli athletes
Weekly review of key events in Azerbaijan's ICT sector
Weekly review of main events in Azerbaijan's transport sector
Uzbekistan reveals leading banks without state share in terms of volume of deposits
Number of people hospitalized after Listvyazhnaya mine explosion grows to 58
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Georgia reveals top exported goods to China
Performing at National Gymnastics Arena in Baku is unbelievably cool - Kazakh athlete
Iran’s NICICO records increase in sales
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Azerbaijan notes growth in total liabilities of banks in 10M2021
Several hydrological points to be installed on rivers in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories – ministry
Iran’s Saipa Company increases auto manufacturing
Georgia releases COVID-19 data for November 27
Uzbekistan names leading state-owned banks in terms of volume of deposits
Georgia, EU to enhance co-op in foreign policy, security
All news