Turkey denies Iranian claim of ‘Turkish spies in Yemen’

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic denies report of Iran’s Fars news agency that Yemen’s Ansarullah movement arrested eight operatives of Turkish and Qatari spy agencies

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic denied a report in Iran’s Fars news agency (FNA) claiming that Yemen’s Ansarullah movement arrested eight operatives from the Turkish and Qatari spy agencies with having different nationalities.

The news agency claimed that the spies backed by Saudi intelligence planned to “conduct terrorist attacks in Sanaa and bomb the Yemeni Foreign Ministry,” according to Razzaq Hamid al Amjadi, a leader of the movement.

The FNA alleged that Amjadi said, “The agents have admitted that the Turkish, Qatari and Saudi spy agencies had recruited them in 2014 in order to form terrorist militias to distort the image of the revolutionary committees and Ansarullah movement.”

Bilgic said on Tuesday, “Such news has nothing to do with reality. We think that certain circles uneasy about our principled policy for the solution of problems in Yemen through political dialog and thereby for the establishment of security and stability in the country have put forward such unfounded allegations for provocation,” responding to a question during a press conference.

Ansarullah (Supporters of God), “The Zaidi offshoot of Shia Islam, has been known more popularly as the Houthis in Yemen. The group takes its name from Hussein Badreddin al Houthi, who led an uprising in 2004 and was reportedly killed by the Yemeni army forces in September.

In September 2014, the Iranian-backed Houthis succeeded to take control of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa through another armed uprising, allegedly backed by Iran, causing the Yemeni government to flee to Aden after the group attempted to disband the Yemeni government in January.

Houthi forces began a military campaign to take Aden in April, forcing the government to escape the country to neighbouring ally Saudi Arabia, where it has set up office in the capital of Riyadh.

The Houthi uprising has rung the alarm bells in Riyadh who fears the Houthis allied to its foe Iran will dominate the kingdom's southern neighbour, and that the advance of their Shiite Muslim fighters into Sunni areas will provoke sectarian fighting that Al Qaeda can exploit.

Backed by the United States, a Saudi-led coalition has been conducting more than 1,200 air strikes against the Houthis and army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh since March 26 with the aim of restoring the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Thousands have been killed and more than 100,000 people have been displaced since the beginning of the conflict, according to the United Nations.

The Saudi-led Arab alliance and NATO have accused Iran of arming the Houthis.

Tehran denies the allegations.

TRTWorld and agencies