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>> As the 19-month-old civil war in Yemen grows bloodier by the day, Reuters has learned Iran is stepping up the flow of weapons to the Houthi rebel group fighting the Saudi back to Yemeni government. And that's alarming the United States. Foreign Policy Correspondent, Yara Bayoumy.>> So what we understand from From US Western and Iranian officials and sources is that, recently, there has been an increase in the pace of weapons transfers from Iran to the Houthis.
There's always been much speculation about the extent of Iranian support to the Houthis. What we understand is that the transfers have included anti-ship missiles, explosives, personnel and money. The idea that there is this more sophisticated weaponry in the conflict in Yemen, of course, is very concerning. And especially, if they are Iranian arms transfers which are illegal.
>> Bayoumy says the increasing missile shipments could be linked to recent targeting of American ships off the coast of Yemen.>> US officials do say that what they are sure about is that the missiles, which targeted the US Navy warship did come from what is Houthi-controlled territory. There is now a lot of analysis as to whether they are Iranian origin or have components from Iran.
>> The Iranian government says it supports the Houthis, but denies sending them weapons. Sources telling Reuters the weapons from Iran reaching the Houthis by way of Oman, a strong ally of the United States.>> Oman and Yemen, of course, share a very long and porous border. And of course, this does put the US in a somewhat tricky position because it does value Oman's role very much, especially given its historic role in the nuclear deal.
>> The Omani government officially denies the allegations.
e stepped up weapons transfers come as the violence threatens to pull the United States deeper into a conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people.