Israeli President welcomed to the UAE with Yemeni missiles 

February 1, 2022 - 10:2

TEHRAN- Yemen’s Armed Forces spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, has announced that the Yemeni armed forces have carried out a wide-scale military operation dubbed "Yemen Storm-3" hitting targets deep inside the United Arab Emirates.

The retaliatory operation is the third of its kind over the last weeks and comes as the Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, is on his first official visit to the Emirates. 

Saree says "qualitative and important targets were hit in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi with a number of "Zulfiqar" ballistic missiles" and "sensitive targets were hit in the Emirate of Dubai with a number of Samad 3 drones."

He warned that "the state of the Emirati enemy will remain unsafe as long as the tools of the Israeli enemy continue to attack us," calling on foreign citizens, companies and residents to stay away from vital installations, as they are vulnerable to being struck during the coming period.

Saree also stressed that "the armed forces will not stand idly by as they see the great people of Yemen suffering from the scourge of siege and aggression" adding "we will continue to legitimately defend dear Yemen until the aggression stops and the siege is lifted”. 

Air Traffic had reportedly stopped and flights were grounded at Abu Dhabi international airport, in the capital of the Emirates. 

Flight Radar applications show a brief halt to commercial flights over Abu Dhabi Airport. 

Reports also suggest movement in Abu Dhabi had been paralyzed as a result of a strong Yemeni operation.

The UAE’s Ministry of Defense claims the attack launched by Yemen’s  Ansarallah movement did not result in any losses alleging its defense systems intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile. 

The Ministry added that remnants of a ballistic missile fell outside populated areas. It also says “we confirm that we are ready and ready to deal with any threats” and that “we are taking all necessary measures to protect the country from attacks”

The Yemeni attacks represent a major challenge for the Emirates, which has long advertised itself to international businesses and tourists as a safe place to visit. 

However, reporting on the latest attacks has made it difficult for journalists after the country’s top prosecutor threatened people, including Emirati nationals, who film or post footage of the latest Yemeni attacks would face criminal charges. 

Last week, state media said prosecutors in Abu Dhabi summoned people who shared videos on social media of the aftermath of a similar strike on Abu Dhabi International Airport. The UAE’s Attorney General Hamad al-Shamsi was quoted as warning against both “publishing and circulating such material on social media websites.”

Al-Shamsi did not disclose how many people were summoned nor provide any details on what consequences they might face.

The move indicates the destabilizing potential of continued attacks on the Emirates, even if the missiles are alleged to have been intercepted by Abu Dhabi. The UAE relies on millions of foreigners for its economic survival, a perception of instability would put foreign investors and tourists away and the Emirati business model would be under threat.

In early morning trading, the main Persian Arab Gulf stock markets were falling, with the Dubai market index losing the most as a result of the third "Yemen Storm” operation. 

While the Yemeni armed spokesman did not mention the Israeli President’s trip in his briefing; this was not lost on Israeli media who highlighted the Yemeni operation, in the heart of Abu Dhabi coinciding with Herzog's visit, as representing an attempt to sabotage the trip. Israeli media reports say that "Herzog was in a hotel when the attack happened."

One Israeli media outlet reportedly cited the regime’s intelligence agency had informed the Israeli President to immediately return back to the occupied Palestinian Territories, something that Reuters later denied, citing Israeli sources. 

The Israeli President’s visit has drawn widespread outrage in West Asia, particularly in occupied Palestine.

The Hamas movement issued a statement that said: “we deplore the UAE’s reception of the president of the Zionist entity on its soil and affirm our rejection of all forms of normalization with the Zionist enemy and the leaders of its alleged entity”

The statement added “normalization visits with the occupation would encourage it to continue to escalate its aggression against our people and its denial of its rights, which is what happened since the start of the normalization process”

“It is unfortunate that the visit of the president of the Zionist entity to the Emirates comes in light of the escalation of the occupation attack on our people with killing and arrests until this morning, and an increase in the policy of ethnic cleansing as is happening to our people in al-Quds, and the continuation of the settlement policy in the West Bank, the siege of the Gaza Strip and the continued abuse of prisoners”

The Gaza based Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement also strongly condemned the UAE's “reception of the head of the Israeli occupation entity, Isaac Herzog”

The movement says “receiving the heads of terrorism and extremism is a desecration of the Arab land and an attempt to impose and accept the false occupation in the Arab region. No matter what level of shame alliance with the enemy brings, belief in its inevitable demise will remain stronger and truer than the mirage of those alliances and false relations with it”. 

Elsewhere, a senior leader of the Political Bureau of the Ansarallah movement Muhammad al-Bukhaiti has told the Lebanese based Al-Mayadeen news channel “we will counter escalation with escalation”, saying that the UAE’s calculations are wrong and greed in the southern governorates of Yemen is what pushed Abu Dhabi to the latest escalation.

He says “Saudi Arabia and the UAE are blackmailing Arab countries to participate in the aggression against Yemen”

He noted Ansarullah is ready for intra-Yemeni talks, that this has been the movement’s position “since the start of the aggression” and “we want the other Yemeni parties to be partners with us in restoring Yemen's independence. We have no problem in holding the Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue in any neutral country”. 

Referring to the latest developments on the ground in the strategic energy-rich city of Marib, al-Bukhaiti noted that so far, most of the 10 districts of Marib have been liberated, and two districts that contain gas fields remain.

This comes as the chairman of the Board of Directors of the popular Yemeni newspaper al-Thawra (the uprising) Abdul Rahman al-Ahnoumi has been cited as saying the Yemeni army possesses weapons that have not been announced until today and it can reach the Zionist entity. 

In other developments, according to a Yemeni military spokesperson a large number of UAE-backed mercenaries and Daesh members have also been killed and wounded, while five vehicles have been destroyed after a large gathering of the militants was targeted with a ballistic missile in Shabwa province.

In recent weeks, the Yemeni military has slammed the UAE saying Abu Dhabi “has deployed mercenaries and members of takfiri groups to fight the Yemeni armed forces and the popular committees in Shabwa province”

Following the latest retaliatory attack on the UAE, the Saudi-led coalition pounded different regions across Yemen with airstrikes. 

For hours, Saudi warplanes hovered above the Yemeni’s capital, with numerous air raids on several residential neighborhoods and reports of homes flattened. 

Reports say the Yemeni city of Marib was hit 17 times, al-Jawf, Taiz, al-Bayda and Amran among other areas also witnessed heavy bombardment while an airstrike on Sa’ada killed at least one civilian and injured another. 

With the fresh attacks, Yemen has pledged to retaliate and says the era of hit and run by the Saudi-led, American-backed coalition is over.

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