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>> Iran is upping its game in Yemen's proxy war, and the results could sway the balance of power in the Middle East, Western and regional sources have told Reuters. They say Tehran has stepped up support for Shiite rebel Houthi Movement. Arch rival Saudi Arabia backs government forces. Reuters senior correspondent Jonathan Saul reports.
>> According to our investigations, we've established that Iran is ramping up its logistical support through advisors on the ground and other means to the Houthi movement. As well as providing and supplying them with increasing amounts of sophisticated weaponry, such as drones and missiles that can take out multiple targets.
I should stress that for our understanding so far, there's no indications of on the ground proper, Iranian forces. This is more of an advisory role.>> Iran rejects accusations that it's supporting the Houthis. A Houthi official told Reuters, Saudi Arabia is the source of those charges, to cover for its own failure to win a war that has killed at least 10,000 people.
Saudi backed government forces control most of Yemen, but the Houthis control northern cities, including the capital Sana'a. Iran seems determined to strengthen its hand in the region, especially since Donald Trump put it on notice.>> With Iranian elections coming up in May, hardliners there are taking growing prominence.
And there's this increasing sense of isolation they feel towards the new US administration, which is also taking a much more bellicose stance on its position vis-a-vis Iran. As a result of which the Iranians appear to be much more active in ramping up their support for proxy allies in various places, which include Yemen.
>> Beefing up the Houthis mirrors Iran's strategy in Syria, where its ally Hezbollah is helping the army gain the upper hand. With much of the world's oil passing through Yemen's coastal waters every day, the strategic stakes of Yemen's proxy war could be even higher.