Report: Iran-Backed Yemeni Rebels Use North Korean Missiles Against Saudis

AP Photo/Hani Mohammed
AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

According to South Korean sources for the Korea TimesYemeni rebels have attacked Saudi Arabian targets with missiles purchased from North Korea.

“North Korea has sold missiles to Yemen and sent missile engineers to that country in the 1990s,” a North Korean defector explained, noting that weapons sales are a major source of income for the Communist regime.

Yonhap News clarifies that these are Scud surface-to-surface missiles, 40 percent of which have reportedly been shot down by the Saudis, and the missile crews are from the Iran-backed Houthi tribe, which overthrew the Yemen government at the beginning of this year, prompting Saudi intervention.

Shipments of Scud missiles from North Korea to Yemen go at least as far back as 2002, when the U.S. briefly detained a ship carrying such missiles before allowing it to deliver the shipment, having been reassured that the weapons were intended for “defensive use” by the Yemeni army. Yemen and its president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, were seen as important partners in the anti-terrorist campaign. Saleh was deposed during the “Arab Spring” uprisings, and has now thrown in his lot with the Houthis, becoming one of the most influential figures in war-torn Yemen.

The first salvo of Scuds into Saudi Arabia, intercepted by Saudi Patriot anti-missile batteries, was seen as a significant escalation in the conflict.

International Business Times lists Iran, Syria, Pakistan, and the Palestinian terror gang Hamas as other customers of what some analysts refer to as North Korea’s “Missiles R Us” weapons superstore. Of particular concern is North Korea’s claim to have made progress toward developing missiles that could carry small nuclear warheads.


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