DUBAI (Reuters) - Six people are on trial in the United Arab Emirates on charges of providing supplies to the country’s enemies from the Iran-allied Houthi movement in Yemen, the state news agency WAM said on Monday.
It was the first reported instance of people in the UAE being accused of helping the Houthis, who have killed scores of Emirati soldiers deployed in battlefronts throughout Yemen.
The UAE along with Saudi Arabia and other mostly Gulf Arab countries intervened in Yemen’s civil war against the Houthis in March after they forced the country’s government into exile.
“Six Arab defendants, including a Gulf citizen, are on trial on charges of providing the terrorist Houthi movement in Yemen with communication devices and equipment,” WAM news agency said.
The Emirati public prosecutor accused them of giving the Houthis “communications devices and chemical materials,” without elaborating, according to WAM. One of the defendants managed Houthi funds in the UAE, the prosecutor said.
The mostly Gulf Arab coalition that intervened in Yemen believe that the Houthis, who hail from a Shi’ite Muslim sect, are a proxy for the influence of its regional arch-adversary Iran.
The Houthis deny this, saying they are fighting a war against endemic corruption and exclusionary autocratic rule in the Arabian Peninsula country.
Reporting by Noah Browning; Editing by Mark Heinrich
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