Saudi Arabia says the Houthis, Shiites from north Yemen, are puppets of Iran and must be defeated to stop the Islamic Republic from gaining a foothold in the Arabian Peninsula, though Western diplomats have questioned the level of Iranian involvement.
Reports said the fatalities include children.
The fighting in Taiz continued Tuesday, with three civilians killed and 13 wounded by Houthi shelling, neutral security and medical officials said on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to brief reporters.
“Based on statements from the dhow’s crew, the port of origin of the dhow and its illicit weapons cache is believed to be Iran”.
“The Command of the Coalition … foiled an attempt to smuggle weapons destined to the Houthi militias, on an Iranian fishing boat”, the statement said. However, since March 26th of this year, they have endured countless airstrikes on residential homes, factories, schools, aid offices and refugee camps.
Most of the weapons were dumped into the sea, though a few were retained for further analysis by sailors aboard the American warship.
Civilians have been caught in the yearlong battle that began with Houthi fighters seizing the capital, Sana’a, and then pushing south to the port city of Aden in an offensive that sent President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi fleeing to Saudi Arabia.
The United Nations said Tuesday it would open an investigation into the incident to verify who was behind the attack, as Saudi Arabia has denied responsibility despite several accounts that the attack was carried out by fighter jets. Iran and the Houthis have denied the allegations, saying the support is political.
A 2009 U.S. government cable from then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released by WikiLeaks revealed that “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide”.
The Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition apparently struck the wedding party by mistake on Monday.
Obama welcomed Saudi King Salman with open arms to the White House earlier this month to hold discussions on a number of issues including the ongoing war in Yemen. Washington is not directly involved in the airstrikes, however, it does provide logistical and intelligence support for the operation.
But despite operating an air and sea blockade for the past six months, they have not come up with any evidence to back up this claim.