Houthis in Yemen
Houthis in Yemen Reuters

The Saudi-led coalition on Sunday accused Iran and Hezbollah of helping Yemen's Houthi rebels to launch missiles and drones at the kingdom, where two people were killed, AFP reported.

The Saudi accusation came as the coalition intensified an aerial bombing campaign against the Iran-backed Houthis in retaliation for deadly attacks on the kingdom.

Coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki told a news conference the Houthis were "militarizing" Sanaa airport and using it as a "main center for launching ballistic missiles and drones" towards the kingdom.

He showed reporters a video clip which he said depicted "the headquarters of Iranian and Hezbollah experts at the airport" where, he alleged, "Hezbollah is training the Houthis to booby-trap and use drones".

Malki showed other clips which he said showed a Hezbollah member placing explosives in a drone, and a man he identified as a Hezbollah official telling Houthi members "we must strengthen our ranks".

He said the international community must "stop hostile acts by this terrorist organization," a reference to Hezbollah.

The Houthis and their allies took over large parts of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, in 2015. A Saudi-led military coalition then intervened in Yemen to try to restore the government.

It has long been believed that Iran is planning to use the Houthis to take over Yemen and seize the key strategic port of Aden, which controls the entrance to the Red Sea and ultimately to the Israeli resort city of Eilat.

Iran denies it is backing the Houthis and has also denied Saudi Arabian accusations that Tehran provided the Houthi rebels in Yemen with ballistic capabilities.

The Lebanon-based Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, has also denied sending fighters or weapons to Yemen.

Earlier this year, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the removal of the Houthi rebels from the US list of foreign terrorist organizations, reversing a decision that was made by the Trump administration days before the end of his term.