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Iran denounces Saudi-led coalition over strikes on Yemen rebels

As Saudi Arabia denies reports it carried out deadly attack on prison, Tehran says countries arming coalition ‘are complicit in these crimes’

Supporters of Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels carry a mock rocket as they demonstrate in the capital Sanaa to denounce a reported airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on a prison in the country's rebel-held north, on January 21, 2022. (Mohammed Huwais/AFP)
Supporters of Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels carry a mock rocket as they demonstrate in the capital Sanaa to denounce a reported airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on a prison in the country's rebel-held north, on January 21, 2022. (Mohammed Huwais/AFP)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran on Saturday condemned recent airstrikes on rebel-held areas of Yemen, warning they make achieving peace in the war-torn country “more difficult.”

The Saudi-led coalition has denied as “groundless” reports it carried out an airstrike on a prison in Yemen’s rebel-held north that aid groups said killed at least 70 people, including migrants, women and children.

Saudi Arabia accuses regional rival Iran of providing military support to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, especially missiles and rockets, claims that Tehran denies.

“The continuation of the coalition’s military attacks on Yemen with the silence and indifference of the international community and the uncontrolled sale of weapons to the aggressors… has made the path to achieve a just peace in the country even more difficult,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement.

The latest violence in Yemen’s seven-year war came after Houthi forces on Monday claimed their first deadly attack on Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, a member of the coalition.

The attack, which coincided with a coalition strike on Hodeida that killed three children and knocked out Yemen’s internet, was condemned by the United Nations secretary-general.

Khatibzadeh said there was a lack of “serious determination to advance the political settlement of the Yemeni crisis,” warning it will lead to the “destruction of the country and instability in the region.”

The Houthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, prompting the Saudi-led intervention — supported by the US, France and Britain — in March 2015.

“The countries that provide the coalition with bombs and weapons of mass destruction are complicit in these crimes and must be held accountable,” Khatibzadeh added.

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