ADEN (Reuters) – Local militiamen in the Yemeni city of Aden said they captured two Iranian military officers advising Houthi rebels during fighting on Friday evening.
Tehran has denied providing military support for Houthi fighters, whose advances have drawn air strikes by a regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic’s main rival for influence in the Gulf.
If confirmed, the presence of two Iranian officers, who the local militiamen said were from an elite unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, would further worsen relations between Tehran and Riyadh who are vying for dominance in the region.
A Houthi mortar shell fired into Saudi territory on Friday killed three officers and injured two others, a statement from the kingdom’s Defence Ministry carried by state media said on Saturday, bringing Saudi casualties in the conflict to six.
Three sources in the southern port city’s anti-Houthi militias said the Iranians, identified as a colonel and a captain, were seized in two separate districts that have been rocked by heavy gun battles.
Houthi militant walks past a shipment of emergency …
A Houthi militant walks past a shipment of emergency medical aid for the Red Cross being unloaded fr …
“The initial investigation revealed that they are from the Quds Force and are working as advisors to the Houthi militia,” one of the sources told Reuters.