Saudis Suspend Aid to Yemen in Reaction to Iran-Backed Rebels

Saudi Arabia has suspended most of the aid it sends to its southern neighbor, Yemen, in response to the hold the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have over the capital city of Sanaa, according to a Reuters report yesterday.

A political deal that called for the withdrawal of the Houthis from Sanaa was concluded in September, but the rebels have remained. A Yemeni official told Reuters, “the Saudis have conditioned any aid on the implementation of the (deal). The Houthis have to leave before they pay.”

In recent months, Iran has begun openly expressing its support for the Houthis and has reportedly been sending Hezbollah fighters to Yemen to aid the rebels. This past November, an Iranian official boasted that his nation had captured its fourth Arab capital, Sanaa. The presence of Iranian proxies in Yemen poses a threat to Saudi Arabia as well as to shipping lanes through the Red Sea.

The Twoer