Yemen takes on the UAE

January 18, 2022 - 18:49

In a military statement, read by Brigadier General Yahya Saree, Yemen’s armed forces have conducted a large-scale military operation against the United Arab Emirates in response to the escalation of the “U.S.-Saudi-Emirati aggression”.

According to the statement, "Operation Hurricane Yemen" targeted Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports, the Musaffah oil refinery in Abu Dhabi, and a number of important and sensitive Emirati sites and facilities. The Yemeni army spokesman pointed out that the successful operation was carried out with five ballistic and winged missiles as well as a large number of drones.

The Yemeni armed forces spokesman noted that "Operation Hurricane Yemen" had successfully achieved its goals.

Saree, said, "the armed forces are implementing today what they promised, and they renewed their warning to the countries of aggression that they will receive more painful and painful blows."

Yemen’s military has warned foreign companies, citizens, and residents of the UAE “enemy state” to stay away from vital sites and facilities for their own safety.

The spokesman added, "we will not hesitate to expand the number of targets to include more important sites and facilities during the coming period”. He also declared that the UAE is an unsafe state as long as its “aggressive escalation against Yemen continues”.

Earlier, the UAE had confirmed that it was initially subjected to an air attack in two locations in the capital, Abu Dhabi, in conjunction with the Yemeni armed forces’ announcement of an upcoming statement to reveal a qualitative military operation agains the Emirates in depth.

The Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported explosions at three petroleum tanks transporting petroleum gases in the Musaffah area of Abu Dhabi, in addition to a fire in the new construction area of Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Reports have also cited navigational sources as confirming the disruption of airlines at Abu Dhabi International Airport, with some stopping after the Yemeni armed forces announced the targeting of the Emirati site. This is while activists circulated videos of fires burning in Abu Dhabi.

Some foreign and regional media outlets also revealed that the air attack, which targeted vital places in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi, caused confusion and great concern for the Emirati leadership and cast a shadow over risks surrounding the oil market in the region.

The Bloomberg business news agency reported that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the de facto ruler of the country, Mohammed bin Zayed, canceled a meeting scheduled with the President of South Korea in Abu Dhabi because he described it as “an unexpected issue related to state security”. The media outlet also noted the attack set fuel tanker trucks ablaze in a nearby industrial area and led to confusion regarding air traffic control at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Saree pointed out that this operation is the largest of its kind so far on UAE soil and that the retaliatory attack on Emirati oil installations has raised concern among oil market observers as there is a constant threat against oil infrastructure in countries waging war on Yemen.

It’s not the first time, Yemeni forces have targeted the UAE, however, Sana’a halted its military operations against Abu Dhabi for a few years after the Emirates backed off from attacking Yemen following reports Abu Dhabi concluded the war cannot be won militarily.

That formula recently changed and Yemen waged the latest operation in response to militants backed and funded by the UAE waging attacks and trying to advance against the Yemeni armed forces in the country’s south. Attacks that the Yemeni army backed by Ansarullah forces have managed to successfully foil.

The National Salvation Government has also warned Abu Dhabi against intensifying its air campaign against Yemen.

“This operation is a prelude and there are still a lot of surprises in the pocket of our military forces to deter the UAE” an Ansarullah military commander told Yemen’s al-Masirah news channel. 

The Ansarullah forces’ commander, Mahdi Al-Mashat, later warned that if the UAE aggression continues, “this would pose serious risks to the economy and investments in the UAE.”

Just recently, the Yemeni navy managed to seize an Emirati flagged vessel carrying military supplies for the Saudi-led coalition. According to Saree, the vessel “entered Yemeni waters without authorization” off the coast of Hodeidah and was carrying out “hostile acts”.

The al-Masirah news channel aired footage of the vessel showing military-style inflatable rafts, trucks, and other military vehicles on the ship, a landing craft that lowers a ramp to allow equipment to roll on and off. In another part of the footage, a collection of military assault rifles and ammunition inside a container can be seen.

Yahia Saree dismissed claims that the vessel was carrying medical supplies saying “It is completely obvious today that the information that this ship was carrying a civilian field hospital is not correct. This is clearly military equipment”.

The Yemeni armed forces regularly launch retaliatory attacks against the UAE’s neighbor Saudi Arabia with missiles and drones in a bid to halt the war and all-out blockade of Yemen imposed by Riyadh.

Following the Yemeni military operation, the Saudi-led coalition’s warplanes bombarded its southern neighbor with airstrikes in many provinces mostly hitting residential neighborhoods.

According to Yemeni media at least 20 civilians have been killed and around a dozen others wounded with search and rescue operations ongoing to pull bodies out of the rubble. An entire family of 14 people is among those killed. Most of the casualties are also reported to be women and children.

The majority of the airstrikes are said to have targeted the capital Sana’a with one district hit particularly hard leaving five houses completely destroyed and dozens of others also damaged.

Yemeni media say warplanes had been flying for hours non-stop making it difficult for ambulance crews to access the scene of the attacks. Rescue teams, in cooperation with the local residents, are searching for victims under the rubble in the Libyan neighborhood amid fears the death toll will rise.

The provinces of Shabwah, Jawf, Hajja, Hodeideh, and Maarib are among other provinces that have faced ferocious Saudi airstrikes.

The Kingdom, along with its regional allies backed by the United States, launched a war on its southern neighbor seven years ago in a bid to reinstate the former Yemeni government.

Over the past few years, Yemen’s ability to manufacture indigenously made missiles and drones has changed the equation on the ground.

Where once Saudi Arabia had the upper hand in the war with hundreds of billions of dollars purchased from Western states; cheaply made drones evading advanced Western-made radar systems has proven extremely effective and forced Saudi Arabia into a quagmire inside its southern neighbor.

Riyadh started the aggression in March 2015 but is proving increasingly incapable of ending the war. Intra-Yemeni talks have been strongly suggested by some regional countries as the only way to end the conflict.

The Saudi-led coalition has launched tens of thousands of air raids inside Yemen that have struck markets, schools, hospitals weddings, and funerals that have killed hundreds of thousands of people, many of them women and children. Yemeni forces have regularly sent drones and fired missiles in the opposite direction, but reports of civilian casualties inside the Kingdom are extremely rare.

Some four million Yemenis have been internally displaced during the fighting. In September, the World Food Programme warned that 16 million Yemenis were “marching towards starvation”. According to the United Nations hundreds of thousands of Yemenis, mostly civilians, have been killed since the beginning of the war. The UN also says Yemen faces the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The Saudi blockade has suffocated the country, just recently Riyadh seized yet another fuel tanker at Hodeideh port, a commodity that is much needed in the country and something that could help ease the humanitarian catastrophe.

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