State Department Spokesperson John Kirby States Iran Providing Missiles to Houthi Rebels in Yemen (Excerpts)

October 11, 2016

Weapon Program: 

  • Missile

Related Country: 

  • Yemen


QUESTION: ... But you said that they’re under threat, that the Saudis are under threat from missiles provided by Iran. And yet, at the same time, surely you must understand that Yemeni civilians are increasingly at risk and being killed by weapons that the United States has furnished to the Saudis and their coalition partners on this. So you don’t find that there’s any kind of an issue with this? Because a lot of people do including --

MR KIRBY: Of course we care.

QUESTION: -- including on the Hill. So just because --

MR KIRBY: No, no, no, no, no.

QUESTION: -- these missiles were made in Iran, I mean, they can – people on the ground in Yemen are looking at what’s coming, raining down on them from the sky, and it says Made in USA on it. Is that not a problem?

MR KIRBY: Of course, it’s a problem. And that’s way in our statement over the weekend issued by the National Security Council that we’re going to undertake a review --

QUESTION: All right. So how --

MR KIRBY: -- of aid and assistance. Of course, it’s a problem. And I don’t – I’m not – I’m not saying that – look, it is a fact that they are under threat from the Yemen side of the border with missiles from Iran. That is just a fact. I am not saying that that justifies --

QUESTION: Well, it’s also a fact that civilians are being killed.

MR KIRBY: No, no, no, and I’m not saying that that fact justifies civilian casualties. I’m simply trying to put your answer into some context here. But obviously, we’re very concerned about what happened over the weekend. We wouldn’t have issued that very strong statement --


MR KIRBY: -- if we didn’t feel that way.