Following a drone attack in Abu Dhabi that left several people dead, a Saudi-led coalition of Arab nations announced the start of airstrikes on the Yemeni Houthi-held Yemeni capital Sana’a. As reported on the night of Tuesday, January 18, the official Saudi news agency Saudi Press Agency, the raids on Sana’a are carried out “in response to a threat and based on military necessity.”
Brigadier General Turki Al-Maliki, a coalition spokesman, described the Houthi strikes as “hostile terrorist attacks,” stressing that “those responsible must be held accountable” because they “pose a threat to regional and international security.”
The Houthi-owned Al-Masirah TV channel confirmed the fact of the coalition raids.
A few hours earlier, Yemeni rebels announced a “military operation” carried out on the territory of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to local police, three fuel trucks were the targets of the attack – they exploded and caught fire. In addition, a small fire broke out at a construction site near Abu Dhabi Airport, which was extinguished. As a result of the attack, three people were killed – one Pakistani and two Indian citizens, and six more people were injured.
The world condemns the attack on Abu Dhabi
The authorities of the UAE and other countries, in particular the US, France and the UK, as well as the UN condemned the attacks in Abu Dhabi. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington will work with the UAE and other allies to “hold the Houthis to account.” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called the attack a threat to “the security of the United Arab Emirates and regional stability.” British Foreign Secretary Liz Trouss tweeted about “acts of terrorism”.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, also condemning the attack on Abu Dhabi, called on all parties to the conflict to exercise restraint.
In Yemen, since 2014, there has been a bloody civil war between the Houthis, who captured the country’s capital Sana’a and most of the northern regions of the country, and government forces, supported by Saudi Arabia. The military conflict in Yemen is seen as a confrontation between Riyadh and Tehran. In mid-May 2019, two oil stations in Saudi Arabia were attacked by armed drones. The Houthis also claimed responsibility for the attacks.