A member of a special force loyal to the Houthi rebels holds an RPG launcher as he rides atop a vehicle during a military parade in Sanaa, Yemen July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
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Iran's Revolutionary Guards have started using a new route across the Gulf to funnel covert arms shipments to their Houthi allies in Yemen's civil war, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters. In March, regional and Western sources told Reuters that Iran was shipping weapons and military advisers to the Houthis either directly to Yemen or via Somalia. For the last six months the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has begun using waters further up the Gulf between Kuwait and Iran as it looks for new ways to beat an embargo on arms shipments to Houthi rebels, Western and Iranian sources say.Another senior Iranian official also confirmed the shipment activity and pointed to IRGC involvement. The IRGC is Iran's most powerful internal and external security force, with a sophisticated intelligence and surveillance network together with elite units which are playing a key role in the war in Syria in support of the government. The IRGC declined to comment on the arms shipments and Iranian Foreign Ministry officials could not immediately be reached.The Western sources said consignments were transported from smaller Iranian ports across the sea-lanes near Kuwait, which is 100 nautical miles from Iran.
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