Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have threatened and attacked international shipping in the Red Sea for three months, with potential consequences for the world economy, were trained at an “elite” naval academy in Iran, according to a UK newspaper.

Citing sources inside Iran, The Telegraph reported on January 10 that around 200 members of the Shia group received training from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) at the Khameini Academy of Naval Sciences and Technology in Ziba Kenar on the Caspian coastline.

A section is dedicated to the six-month training course for “foreign mercenaries” under the command of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force, including the Houthis, the reports said.

“The first course for Houthis in naval science and technology was launched in January 2020, and the Houthis were housed separately from other students, who were barred from interacting with them in order to prevent intelligence leaks,” it added.

The paper said the findings “demonstrate Tehran’s direct involvement in widening” the Gaza conflict.

The report came as the United States, UK and other allies warned of “consequences” for the Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping.

On January 9, US and UK carrier-based jets and warships shot down 21 drones and missiles launched by the Iran-backed Houtis on January 9. At least one missile directly targeted a British battleship.

The next day, the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate end to the Houthi attacks and endorsing the right of UN member states to defend their vessels.

“This cannot continue and we won’t allow it to continue so watch this space,” UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said when asked about potential strikes in Yemen.

The Houthis, who control swathes of Yemen, called the UN resolution a “political game,” and claimed to be targeting Israeli-linked vessels to show their support for the Iran-backed Palestinian terrorist group Hamas since the start of the war in Gaza in October.

According to the International Chamber of Shipping, 20 percent of the world’s container ships are now avoiding the Red Sea and using the much longer route around Africa instead.

Source » iranwire