The United Arab Emirates (UAE), known for its oil wealth, tourist attractions, and commercial activities with foreign firms, has seen a recent ballistic missile and sophisticated drone bombing deep inside its territory at the Abu Dhabi International Airport on January 17, 2022 by popular Yemeni Houthi forces.
This is noteworthy, because it is the second strike by Yemeni Houthis (35% of the population) deep inside the UAE, and is the first publicly acknowledged one. And it has made the UAE one of the least safe places to be, overnight.
Why did Yemini military target the UAE’s key oil infrastructure?
Out of desperation, and in response to increased UAE-backed aggression in a now nearly 7-years war that rages to this day as what is described as the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crisis. Over 24 million Yemeni people and children have been blockaded and bombed on a daily basis. This new strike sends a message that was delivered to the UAE-Saudi war coalition occupying parts of Yemen. That message? Stop the war, or face greater consequences.
Lack of mass media outlet coverage…until UAE gets attacked
With dozens to hundreds of UAE and Saudi airstrikes daily, many have only been continuously condemned by humanitarian organizations. Save for sparse coverage, where were the mainstream media outlets in the past decade? What have they been reporting on, or rather, not reporting on?
The answer, in short, is sparse coverage about the Yemini pain and continued suffering of 24 million people–at the hand of the wealthiest monarchs. This sparse coverage from media outlets is likely because of monied interests–UAE and Saudi monarchs have sovereign wealth funds with shares of stock in the media companies themselves, and Yemen can’t quite afford to retain the most expensive lobbying firms in the world. Only until a country like UAE gets retaliatory strikes does the mass media outlet pickup the story.
Yemen is the Arab world’s poorest nation, facing the wealthiest
Seven years later, and with the most sophisticated arms money can buy, the UAE and its Saudi plans are often at odds with each other. They both lack the will to continue fighting, and so both of the rich Persian Gulf monarchs turn to fund terror groups and hire mercenary gangs to fight for them. While they won’t be able to come to any military resolution any time soon, both UAE and Saudi monarchs continue to fund, arm, and train terror groups like ISIS and AL Qaeda inside Yemen,
Saudi-UAE coalition’s continued occupation and their war crimes on Yemen
The UAE military continues to occupy the Yemeni island of Socotra. This is in addition to its sponsored terror groups occupying vast swatches of Yemeni land on top of this. The Saudi regime continues its support of the ex-Yemeni government it has once installed. and the UAE camp has a separate agenda and is considerably more extremist. And on more than one occasion, both UAE-led and separately, Saudi-led groups have even fought each other. More background on the war crimes below.
How did the UAE respond?
With more heightened war crimes and airstrikes, as expected over a dozen innocent Yemeni people in a residential area were targeted and subsequently murdered.
A call to end the occupation and war crimes immediately
For the sake of the children and 24 million people in crisis in Yemen, the UAE-Saudi-led war, backed by a coalition of NATO nations including the United States and the United Kingdom especially, must end immediately. Poor Yemenis continue to be blockaded from accessing basic foodstuffs, medicines, and shelter. The atrocious war crimes that continue need resolution today.
For more on the Yemen crisis, see:
- Human Rights Watch – Yemen
- UNICEF – Yemen
- The Global Conflict Tracker for Yemen
- World Food Programme in Yemen
- Biden’s Broken Promise on Yemen – Brookings
Image: Al-Jazeera screengrab