UAE receives ‘punitive message’ from Yemen

January 17, 2022 - 22:52

TEHRAN – In its first reaction to the United Arab Emirates’ involvement in the fighting in the Shabwa governorate of Yemen, the Sanaa-based forces announced that they have launched a “qualitative military operation” in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi.

Spokesman for Yemen’s armed forces General Yahya Saree announced that the Yemeni forces launched a “qualitative military operation deep inside the UAE.”

The UAE has confirmed that an attack might have happened in Abu Dhabi on Monday morning. According to the Emirati news agency, WAM, Abu Dhabi Police confirmed that a fire broke out this morning, which led to the explosion of three petroleum tankers in ICAD 3, Mussafah, near ADNOC's storage tanks. A minor fire also broke out in the new construction area of Abu Dhabi International Airport, WAM reported, adding that preliminary investigations suggest that the cause of the fires are small flying objects, possibly belonging to drones, that fell in the two areas. 

Abu Dhabi Police also said that the explosions resulted in the death of three people – one from Pakistan and two from India. 

As of Monday evening, Abu Dhabi authorities have not offered further details on the nature of the explosions. But regional media said it was an attack. Al-Mayadeen reported that the Yemeni forces have targeted “sensitive targets” in Abu Dhabi with drones and ballistic missiles. On the other hand, Yemeni sources in the military operations in the heart of the main emirate of Abu Dhabi, which is a continuous loss, and it is clear that the fires are burning.

Informed sources revealed to Al-Mayadeen that an Emirati military plane was attacked on Monday morning at Ataq Airport in Shabwa, southeast of Yemen. Al-Mayadeen sources said that “the leadership of the UAE forces is dissatisfied with the targeting of a plane, describing the governor of Shabwa as failing, and asking him to hand over the security and military checkpoints to it.”

Al-Mayadeen reported that the Yemeni army and popular committees attacked the UAE with 20 drones and 10 ballistic missiles.

The Yemeni attack came after the UAE played a pivotal role in deploying southern Yemeni forces to the Shabwa governorate. It also stepped up its military activities in support of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, something that enraged the Sanaa forces who recently announced that they had seized UAE-flagged military ship off the coast of Hudaydah port in western Yemen. The seized ship, named RWABEE, was carrying military equipment, according to footage of the ship provided by Sanaa. 

The UAE has sought to distance itself from the war in Yemen. But Yemenis see a direct Emirati role in the developments in Shabwa and elsewhere in Yemen. 

Mohammad Abdulsalam, the official spokesman of Ansarallah and head of the Sanaa delegation for peace negotiations, hinted that the UAE’s hand will be cut off if it continued to interfere in Yemen. 

“A small state in the region desperate to serve America and Israel had claimed that it distanced itself from Yemen, but it has recently been exposed, contrary to what it claimed,” Abdulsalam said in his channel on Telegram messaging app. 

He said if the UAE refuses to stop tampering in Yemen, its hands will be cut off. 

Yemeni officials have signaled that Monday’s military attack against the UAE was a punitive message to it.

“The punitive message that was supposed to reach the Emirates and its dwarves has reached,” Dhaif Allah Alshami, the information minister of Yemen, said on Twitter. 

The message seems to have been sent after the UAE paid no attention to diplomatic moves in the past few weeks. Abdulsalam met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian during his recent visit to Oman. After that meeting, Iran once again presented a peace initiative that was presented years ago, according to Al-Mayadeen.

Citing well-informed sources, the news television said, “The initiative stipulated implementing a ceasefire and a complete lifting of the blockade on Yemen, in addition to opening all land, sea, and air crossings.”

The initiative also stipulated initiating political negotiations to reach an agreement on the transitional period following the war and the lifting of the blockade, as well as forming a comprehensive consensus government to manage affairs while providing Yemen with economic support.

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