Saudi Arabia and Donald Trump have both accused Iran of providing Yemen’s Houthi rebels with the missile that was launched at the Saudi capital Riyadh yesterday evening.
Saudi Arabia in particular, has accused Iran of supplying the Houthis with new missiles capable of longer distances than those previously thought to be in their possession.
However, Saudi’s accusation is inconsistent with the fact that Yemen is totally besieged from both land and sea.
Yemen is bordered by Saudi Arabia and fellow Gulf Cooperation Council Oman, a state which would never allow shipments of Iranian weapons to Houthis and could not easily do in any case as Oman borders areas of Yemen controlled either by the pro-Saudi Hadi government or by anti-Iranian al-Qaeda and ISIS fighters.
Yemen’s north-west maritime borders have been cut off from the world, including from crucial medical and food supplies by a Saudi naval blockade that has caused a man-made famine and a cholera epidemic.
If the UN cannot even get foodstuffs past the Saudi blockade, it goes without saying that Iran could not get ballistic missiles to Houthi controlled areas.
The Houthis themselves claimed that they modified their missiles to achieve longer ranges, a claim which Iran acknowledges as the most likely scenario in respect of yesterday’s launch. Others have stated that the launch was a Saudi false flag, but as the Houthis themselves took credit for the launch and with video emerging which appears to back up Houthi claims, the only remaining credible scenario is that the Houthi fighters were indeed able to modify their missiles to reach Riyadh.
In any case, it would appear that Saudi’s US made defensive missile systems shot the Houthi rocket down, although some reports on social media from the Arab world contradict this.
At the end of the day, the facts hardly matter to the spokesmen and leaders of Saudi, Israel and United States who have all accused Iran of having a direct hand in the missile launch.
The fact of the matter is that while Iranian sympathies and limited support are certainly with the Houthis, the blockade means that this support amounts to very little in terms of material support, including and especially military support.
The facts on the ground and more important on the sea, dictate that accusations of Iran meddling in Yemen are de-facto basis.
Unlike Syria which could be supplied on virtually all sides from ISIS controlled Iraq to the large Turkish border as well as the borders with Jordan and Israel, Yemen’s Houthis are not in any such position to be so easily supplied.
The fact that many in the media have conspired to hide this patently obvious reality means that one either is not engaging in honest journalism or one is simply repeating mythical Saudi claims.