Mon, 17 Feb 2020

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, promised to continue supporting Yemen's Houthis against a Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting to restore Yemen's overthrown government in a four-year war.

Speaking on state TV, Khamenei also urged for dialogue among Yemenis to quell the fighting that has killed tens of thousands, and which has brought the country to the brink of famine.

Khamenei accused Saudi Arabia of plotting to "divide Yemen," while saying a "unified and coherent Yemen with sovereign integrity should be endorsed."

The Iranian-aligned Houthis control Yemen's capital of Sanaa and most of the impoverished country's populous areas.

Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) meets with Houthi movement spokesman Mohammad Abdul Salam in Tehran on August 13.

Arch foe Saudi Arabia and coalition partner United Arab Emirates (UAE) have battled the Houthis since 2015 on behalf of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's government.

In June, UAE mostly drew down its ground forces.

The conflict is mostly seen as a proxy war between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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