The Saudi Arabia-led coalition on Monday launched a retaliatory airstrike on the Houthi rebels in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, hours after the Houthi rebels killed three, two Indians among them, and injured more than eight in a drone attack in Abu Dhabi, according to a report by CNN.
Saudi Arabia’s state-run Al-Ekhbariya said that the retaliation was necessary and highlighted that the attack on UAE soil was akin to war crimes and its perpetrators ‘must be held accountable’.
The Houthi-attack on UAE’s soil triggered a fuel tank blast and the group also warned foreign nations in the UAE to avoid “vital installations”, according to a report by news agency AFP. “Five ballistic missiles and a large number of drones were used in an operation dubbed as ‘Operation Hurricane Yemen’ targeted Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports, the Musaffah oil refinery in Abu Dhabi and a number of important and sensitive Emirate sites and facilities,” Houthi military commander brigadier general Yahya Saree was quoted as saying by Houthi-owned TV channel Al-Masirah.
The Houthi commander also said that the Saudi-led coalition launched more than 24 airstrikes in various areas of Yemen causing extensive damage. Houthi spokesperson Mohammad Abdulsalam following the attacks said that the UAE is desperate to serve the interests of the United States and Israel.
He called it a ‘statelet’ and said that if UAE does not stop its interference it will ‘by the power of God, will cut off its hands’. Abdulsalam was referring to UAE’s claim that it reduced its involvement in Yemen by downsizing its troops. The nation earlier in 2019 claimed that it reduced its number of troops in Yemen as part of ‘strategic redeployment’.
Several western nations, which also support the coalition, slammed the Houthis for the attack on the UAE. US secretary of state Antony Blinken spoke today with Emirati minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and condemned the attacks. France and the UK also condemned the attack on UAE.
The Saudi Arabia-led coalition of nine gulf nations has been engaged in a military campaign against the Iran-backed Houthis since 2015. The coalition comprises the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Sudan, Egypt with Saudi Arabia leading the coalition. Morocco and Jordan also have supported the coalition against the Iran-backed forces.