The war that lives Yemen since 2015 enters a new phase after the attack of the Houthi rebels against the United Arab Emirates (UAE). At least three people died after an explosion that affected three trucks with oil in a drone attack in the Musaffah industrial area, next to the international airport of Abu Dhabi. A small fire was also recorded at the aerodrome and the official WAM agency collected the Police statement that assured that the explosions were caused by “small flying targets, possibly drones, that fell in two different areas.” The Emirates cried out for revenge and late at night the planes of the international coalition led by Saudi Arabia began to bomb Sana.
The UAE is part of this coalition that was formed to fight the Houthis in Yemen, a group they accuse of having the military support of Iran. In the last two years, the Emiratis have reduced the presence of their troops on the ground and replaced their men with local paramilitary groups that they train and arm under the name of Giant Brigades and its role has been key in the recent defeat of the rebels in the southern province of Shabwa, the most serious they have suffered in recent years.
The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack on the Musaffah industrial zone and the airport in Abu Dhabi and they described it as a “response” to the role played by the UAE in the loss of this important province and threatened new actions of this type. “The objective of this operation is to respond to their escalation and deter them, and if the Emirates continue their role in the war, we will continue to respond with our military operations,” said rebel Information Minister Nasr al-Din Amir. The rebel spokesman explained that they fired five missiles and used several drones.
In the past, the Houthis have used long-range drone bombs in a series of attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia and have also launched missiles at airports, oil plants and gas pipelines, but experts say this time it is a larger operation. precision than the previous ones.
The rebels have also resorted to hijacking ships as a measure of pressure and for two weeks have had the Emirati-flagged ship Rwabee in their possession. From the UAE they assure that it is “a civilian freighter”, but the Houthis respond that “it does not carry toys for children, it transports weapons for extremists.” The eleven members of the crew are detained and the request of the UN Security Council has not served to obtain their release.
The war in Yemen is seven years old and the United Nations raised the death toll to 377,000 in November. The conflict has caused the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, according to the international organization. The different regional powers have transferred their pulse to the Yemeni chessboard and Saudi Arabia, with the support of the UAE, supports the government forces while Iran is behind some Houthis who are actually Zaidis, a confession derived from Shiism that literally translates as ‘ supporters of God’, although they are known as Houthis by the clan that has led the group since 2004. One more extension of the historical conflict between the two main sects of Islam.