Yemeni minister demands Lebanon ends Hezbollah's support to Houthis

Hezbollah's illegal activity will prolong Yemen's war, Moammar Al Eryani says

HODEIDAH, YEMEN - SEPTEMBER 21: Fighters from Hodeidah aligned with Yemen's Saudi-led coalition-backed government, looks for Houthi snipers at a frontline south of the city on September 21, 2018 in Hodeidah, Yemen. A coalition military campaign has moved west along Yemen's coast toward Hodeidah, where increasingly bloody battles have killed hundreds since June, putting the country's fragile food supply at risk. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
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Yemen's information minister called on the Lebanese government to stop Hezbollah supporting Houthi rebels, insisting the group's activity will prolong Yemen's war.

On Sunday, Moammar Eryani said Hezbollah was providing the Houthis with logistical and military assistance, turning Beirut's southern suburbs — known collectively as Dahiyah — into a centre for media attacks against the Arab-led coalition.

"I call upon the Lebanese government and information minister to abide by the disassociation policy, to stop subversive and provocative activities," Mr Eryani said in a series of tweets, referring to Hezbollah's activities.

All members of Lebanon's cabinet, including Hezbollah, renewed their pledge to the official policy of disassociation from regional conflicts and affairs of other states late last year as a condition for Prime Minister Saad Hariri to rescind his resignation during a visit to Riyadh in November.

The minister also demanded that Beirut must stop the Houthis' Masirah TV from broadcasting from the country.

"These illegal activities contribute to prolonging the war and Yemen's stability and the relations between the two countries," Mr Eryani said.

In August, Nasrallah voiced his support for the Houthi rebels by hosting a meeting with senior rebel officials. He met with a delegation that included spokesman Mohamad Abdelsalam and council members Abdul Malik Al Ajri and Ibrahim Al Daylami.

A photo of the meeting was distributed by Hezbollah, Houthi and Iranian news outlets.

Nasrallah has praised the Houthis in speeches, saying they are fighting against "imperialism", but has denied assisting the rebels over missiles. The Arab-led coalition – including Saudi Arabia and the UAE – intervened in the Yemen conflict in 2015 to back the internationally recognised government of Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

Earlier this year, the coalition reported it had killed eight Hezbollah fighters in northern Yemen, a claim the group denied.

In August, Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Washington released evidence of Hezbollah's deep involvement in the war in Yemen, including footage of commanders directing training for Houthi rebels.

Prince Khalid bin Salman used a Twitter thread to show documentary evidence that the Iranian-backed Lebanese group was overseeing units of the Houthi militia that ousted the country's internationally recognised government.

In July, Yemen's Foreign Minister Khaled Al Yamani filed a complaint to the United Nations against Hezbollah.

Mr Yamani addressed his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil, saying that he “regretted to point out that Hezbollah has abandoned the brotherly approach [between Yemen and Lebanon] … and abused the strong and established relations by its participation in training, planning, inciting and supporting the Houthi militias since the 2014 coup”.

The Yemeni minister urged the Lebanese authorities to take action against Hezbollah's "hostile behaviour".

The country's civil war, which began when the Iran-backed rebels seized Sanaa, the capital, in September 2014, has left 22 million people — about 75 per cent of the population — in need of assistance, according to the UN.


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