SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - A Saudi-led military operation has targeted a base where Iranian-backed Houthi fighters had set up long-range missiles and pointed them towards the southern Yemeni city of Aden and neighouring countries, a Yemeni official said on Saturday.
The official told Reuters that Yemeni authorities had received information that Iranian experts had brought in parts for the missiles at the base, located south of Sanaa.
Iran denies allegations made by some Yemeni and Western officials that it is providing money and training to the Shi’ite Muslim Houthis, whose rapid territorial advances triggered an Arab military campaign against them.
The official, a member of the Yemeni delegation at an Arab League summit in Egypt, showed Reuters mobile phone pictures of a huge orange mushroom cloud, saying it was the force of the rockets exploding at the base after it was targeted.
He did not specify which countries the rockets were directed at.
Houthi fighters seeking to overthrow the Western- and Saudi-backed Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi have continued to make gains since the Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes against them on Thursday.
“It’s not in our interest to directly confront them army-to-army because they (Houthis) have heavy weapons,” said the official.
“It is in our interest for them to enter and becoming a constant, sitting target and then we can pick them off.”
Reporting by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Michael Georgy and Toby Chopra