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The joint battle of UAE and Saudi Arabia in Yemen

Mashari Althaydi

Published: Updated:

The recent targeting of the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi, with drone planes that killed 3 civilians and wounded others represents a dangerous Iranian-Houthi escalation that must be reckoned with.

This is the first time that the United Arab Emirates is being targeted in that manner, which indicates the deep resentment felt by Tehran towards the impactful UAE role in combating the Iranian project in Yemen, a role which comes within the framework of the Saudi-led Arab Alliance. It is a clear role that was pointed to by the commander of joint forces in Yemen, Saudi Lieutenant General Mutlaq al-Azima, prior to the attack on the fuel tanks that took place in Abu Dhabi.

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The recent attack brings forth various domestic, regional, and international indications, the first of which is directed at US President Joe Biden who earlier, and without any justification, erased the Houthi militias from the list of terrorist groups!
US Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, who is a member of the US Congress Armed Forces Committee, has tweeted saying: “Today's deadly attacks on our friends in the UAE demonstrate, yet again, that the Iran-backed Houthis are terrorists.” Adding: “it was a mistake for @POTUS to lift the Houthis' terrorism designation.”

Yemeni fighters loyal to the Iran-backed Houthis raise their weapons during a rally in the capital Sanaa, on May 20, 2021. (AFP)
Yemeni fighters loyal to the Iran-backed Houthis raise their weapons during a rally in the capital Sanaa, on May 20, 2021. (AFP)

In the same vein, former US Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo opined saying that the Iran-backed Houthis, whom President Biden declared as non-terrorists, have launched terrorist rocket attacks on two international transport spots in Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile, some officials in the Biden administration, such as National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan have also condemned the Houthi attacks and expressed their solidarity with the UAE, but which effect do these eloquent phrases bear?

How would the US administration justify such phrases in line of the speedy action, taken by Biden and his consultant Sullivan, of erasing the Iran-backed terrorist Houthi group from the list of terrorist groups?

At any rate, a key indication highlighted by the Iran-backed Houthi attack on the UAE is that both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh are jointly fighting the same battle in Yemen against the very same enemy, and with the exact identical objective.

This key indication was also stressed by recent events, prior to the latest drone attack on Abu Dhabi, when the Shabwa Governorate was successfully liberated from the Houthis, and when the latter were defeated in Marib. These achievements were accomplished thanks to the Saudi leadership and the military and non-military support provided by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Thus, the recent Houthi-Iranian attack on Abu Dhabi was of a vindictive nature, particularly due to the latter’s recent role in Yemen.

Headed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Shrines, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Ministers Council has reiterated “Saudi Arabia’s condemnation of the terrorist attack that targeted the Abu Dhabi International Airport,” stressing its “full support of the brotherly state of the United Arab Emirates.”

Earlier, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed the Kingdom’s solidarity with the UAE through a telephone call with his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

To sum up, the major take from the events of the recent days is that they unequivocally prove the justice of the Saudi-led war in Yemen that aims to preserve Arab national security in its entirety. Poetry might perhaps better represent the essence of that Saudi-Emirati spirit, as expressed by the 7th century Arab poet Al-Darimi, who said:

“Your brother is yourself, and he who has none,
Is a soldier at a battle with no weapon,
Your cousin is, as well, yourself, and never less,
How could a hawk fly with one wing, o your Highness!”

This article was originally published in, and translated from, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

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Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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