According to Yemeni researchers, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been smuggling fighters recruited in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran and Afghanistan into Yemen to take up arms alongside the Houthis.
Some are brought to Yemen aboard boats used for smuggling weapons via the Red Sea or from Oman, he said, while others arrive by air — sometimes under the guise of being wounded — or are smuggled in across the country’s land borders.
These foreign fighters are taking on an increasingly visible role in Yemen by directing the Houthis’ military activities and attempting to further the interests of the Iranian regime at the expense of the Yemeni people.
Many of these mercenaries are recruited and trained in the lawless area around the Iraq-Syria border, where IRGC-directed militias comprising fighters of various nationalities have been attempting to put down roots.
There are more than 3,000 IRGC-affiliated fighters from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon in Yemen at this time, according to Abaad Studies and Research Centre director Abdulsalam Mohammed.
In late June, two Iranian military experts were killed at al-Khanjar front in the northeastern province of al-Jawf, further confirming Iran’s involvement in the war, Yemeni army 6th military zone spokesman Rabea al-Qurashi said.
Dozens of IRGC-affiliated fighters from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon began to surface in Yemen around the time that Iranian ambassador to the Houthis Hassan Eyrlou arrived in Sanaa, said political analyst Waddah al-Yaman Abdul Qader. Among their arsenal are missiles and drones supplied by Iran.
Before Eyrlou arrived in Sanaa, Iran dispatched armed groups affiliated with its militias in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Afghanistan to set the stage for him, Mohammed said.
These fighters have been assigned to the various military zones as advisers, to weapons depots and as fighters, he said, pointing out that in light of this influx of Iran-aligned elements, “The IRGC is now directing the war from inside Sanaa.”
Source » iranbriefing