Two Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers captured in Aden
For weeks, Iran has been angrily denying that they are supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen with military aid.
No one believes them, of course. But it's satisfying to catch them lying.
Local militiamen in the southern Yemeni city of Aden said they captured two Iranian military officers advising Houthi rebels, during fighting on Friday evening.
Tehran has strongly denied providing any military support for Houthi fighters, whose advances have drawn Saudi-led air strikes in a campaign dubbed "Decisive Storm."
If confirmed, the presence of two Iranian officers, whom the local militiamen said were from an elite unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, would deepen tensions between Tehran and Riyadh, who are vying for influence in the Middle East.
Three sources in the city's anti-Houthi local militias said the Iranians, identified as a colonel and a captain, were seized in two different districts rocked by heavy gun battles.
"The initial investigation revealed that they are from the Quds Force and are working as advisors to the Houthi militia," one of the militia sources told Reuters.
"They have been put in a safe place and we will turn them over to Decisive Storm to deal with them," the source added.
Heavy Saudi-led air strikes and ground combat between armed factions battered southernYemen on Saturday, killing around 20 Houthi fighters and two rival militiamen, residents and militiamen said.
The war threatens to turn Yemen into a failed state and spread sectarian strife in the Middle East.
While the Houthis deny getting help from Shi'ite Iran and say their armed campaign is designed to stamp out corruption and Sunni al Qaeda militants, Saudi Arabia and its allies describe them as an Iranian-backed threat to regional security.
Where there are officers, the chances are pretty good that their are foot soldiers as well.Iran is apparently taking a page out of Russia's Ukraine playbook by denying they are assisting the rebels while brazenly sending "advisors" and equipment to help them. The support is probably not crucial at this stage, but if there is a Saudi-led invasion, that may change.
The anti-Houthi forces are not doing well in Aden, nor in other parts of the country. The Arab air force has proved valuable, but not decisive. It seems almost certain that at some point, at least some of the Arab army gathered by the Gulf States will be deployed in support of government forces. And the longer the conflict rages, the more Yemen looks like a failed state in the making.