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Report of Captured IRGC Officers in Yemen Suggests Much Deeper Iranian Role than Tehran Claims

Two Iranian officers advising Houthi rebels in their civil war against the American-backed Yemeni government were captured in Aden, Reuters reported on Saturday.

Local militiamen in the Yemeni city of Aden said they captured two Iranian military officers advising Houthi rebels during fighting on Friday evening. …

Three sources in the southern port city’s anti-Houthi militias said the Iranians, identified as a colonel and a captain, were seized in two separate districts that have been rocked by heavy gun battles.

“The initial investigation revealed that they are from the Quds Force and are working as advisors to the Houthi militia,” one of the sources told Reuters.

Iran denied the report.

However, Secretary of State John Kerry told PBS Newshour last week that the United States was well aware of Iran’s involvement in Iran. The New York Times reported Friday:

Mr. Kerry was asked in the interview about Iran’s denials of claims that it was providing military assistance to the Houthis and whether the United States accepted those statements.

“It is just not a fact, they have been,” he said, contradicting the Iranian denials about providing military support. He said that the United States was “very concerned about what is going on there.”

“There are obviously supplies that have been coming from Iran,” he said. “There are a number of flights every single week that have been flying in. We trace those flights, and we know this. We are well aware of the support that Iran has been giving to Yemen, and Iran needs to recognize that the United States is not going to stand by while the region is destabilized, or while people engage in overt warfare across lines — international boundaries of other countries.”

Rep. Ed Royce (R – Calif.) told Eli Lake of Bloomberg View last month that “even before the [nuclear] negotiations began, when the U.S. unfroze some Iranian assets at the end of 2013, ambassadors for Gulf countries predicted the cash would be used to destabilize the region: ‘We’re seeing today what every Gulf ambassador predicted Iran would do, we’re seeing Iran destabilize the region.’”

[Photo: euronews (in English) / YouTube ]