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UAE protests Iran's arming Yemen rebels with 'drones'

AFP , Thursday 2 Feb 2017
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The United Arab Emirates said Thursday it summoned the Iranian envoy to protest Tehran's alleged arming of Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen, including providing drones, in their fight against the government.

The foreign ministry handed the charge d'affaires a "protesting memorandum concerning Iran's illegal arming" of Huthi rebels, according to state news agency WAM.

It said that "Iranian weapons, including unmanned drones targeted recently by the Arab coalition, represent a flagrant violation" of UN Security Council resolutions.

The UAE is a key partner in the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after rebels stormed the capital Sanaa and advanced on second city Aden.

Emirati press reported recently that UAE warplanes destroyed a rebel drone before it was launched on Yemen's west coast.

The Yemeni government and its allies have repeatedly accused Iran of arming the insurgents, a charge that Tehran has categorically denied.

The war in Yemen has cost more than 7,400 lives since the coalition began its operation, according to the UN's World Health Organisation.

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