The attack on Abu Dhabi.. Are the Houthis seeking to neutralize the UAE from the battles of Marib and Shabwa?

The war in Yemen is taking on another dimension, after the Houthis announced a military operation in the UAE that killed 3 people, while the Saudi-Emirati coalition responded with intense bombing of the capital, Sanaa, announcing the targeting of Houthi leaders and the destruction of military air organizations.

Today, Tuesday, the coalition said that it launched air strikes on Houthi strongholds and camps in Sanaa, during which warehouses and communications system for Houthi drones were destroyed in Jabal al-Nabi Shuaib (west of Sanaa).

The UAE had threatened the Houthis yesterday, and its foreign ministry said in a statement, “We condemn the Houthi terrorist militia’s targeting of civilian areas and facilities on UAE soil today. This sinful targeting will not go unpunished.”

counter warning

But Houthi spokesman Muhammad Abdul Salam warned the UAE – in a tweet – of what he described as “absurdity” in Yemen, noting that it was exposed recently, after it claimed its withdrawal from Yemen.

Abdul Salam threatened the UAE, and said, “It is between hurrying to stop its hand from tampering in Yemen, or it will come to it with the power of God, so that it does not cut off its hand and the hand of others.” In reference to the end of its support for the Giants forces, which achieved major victories in Shabwa and Marib at the expense of the Houthis.

But a member of the Political Bureau of the Ansar Allah movement, Ali Al-Qahoum, believes that the Emirati threats do not carry anything new, and he told Al-Jazeera Net that the UAE has launched its attacks on Yemen for 6 years.

He added, “We have the right to respond, and criminality must respond, and our operations will not stop, and as long as the UAE’s aggression continues, it will remain within the range of aircraft and missiles.”

Al-Qahoum said that the UAE has re-escalated in Yemen under US and British directives, noting that they have information about this new direction for the UAE to launch an attack by forces loyal to it in Shabwa and Marib.

He explained that the UAE’s withdrawal was not practical, adding that it was only a formality.

new weapons

In the same context, a member of the Houthi Shura Council and former spokesman for the group’s air force, Major General Pilot Abdullah Al-Jafri, said that the attack on the UAE was an important message and at a sensitive time, as Abu Dhabi went too far in Yemen, as he put it.

Al-Jafri – a military strategist – stresses in his interview with Al-Jazeera Net that the UAE was involved in Yemen when it transferred what he describes as “terrorists” to Shabwa governorate. In reference to the forces of giants. Weapons were transferred to them via the Rawabi ship, which was seized by the Houthis earlier this month.

He adds that the UAE had previously withdrew from Yemen after the attack on Abu Dhabi airport, after which international mediation intervened requiring the UAE to withdraw from Yemen in exchange for stopping the attack on it, but the UAE recently violated this truce.

According to the retired pilot, the UAE will not bear such strikes, and we will not rule out a new international mediation that requires the Emiratis to withdraw from the Yemeni scene, especially since we have a wide arsenal of air weapons with a range of 1,800 km.

The military spokesman for the Houthis, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, said that the attack was carried out with 4 Quds 2 missiles that targeted an oil refinery and Abu Dhabi airport, while a “Zulfiqar” missile hit Dubai Airport, and Sammad 3 drones also targeted other sensitive targets.

Fear of losing Ma’rib

Maysa Shuja al-Din, a researcher at the (non-governmental) Sana’a Center for Studies, believes that the attack is linked to the military situation in the governorates of Ma’rib and Shabwa, because the Giants Brigades that advanced there are loyal to the UAE, so the Houthis will pressure to stop Abu Dhabi’s support for the Giants’ forces.

She tells Al Jazeera Net that an arrangement between the Houthis and the Emiratis appeared to be in place when the Emiratis left Yemen, and that the Houthis did not bypass the southern regions in Yemen, but they bypassed and advanced towards Bayhan in Shabwa.

She adds that the departure from this agreement led to an escalation, and the Houthis, on the other hand, saw that the most appropriate response was bombing, because the UAE is a fragile country and cannot tolerate missile strikes like Saudi Arabia, for example. “The Saudis are more stubborn, while the Emiratis tend to compromise more.”

The Yemeni researcher did not rule out that the matter will lead to a settlement, and says that the Houthis need this settlement because they have invested a lot in Marib, and lost many victims and capabilities, and therefore they are not ready for this major gamble represented in the loss of Marib through the intervention of the giants forces.

She added, “The giants’ forces are well-prepared and armed, and not as exhausting as the Houthis, who are in a state of depletion, and the UAE is more effective in military interventions, unlike Saudi Arabia, and when it heads in a certain path, it ends it, and moves with organization.”

The war will not stop

In the opinion of Ahmed Naji, a researcher at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, the bombing of Abu Dhabi is directly linked to the escalation in Shabwa and Ma’rib, and the control of the Giants’ forces over the three Shabwa districts.

He told Al Jazeera Net that the attack was a warning message from the Houthis to the UAE to neutralize it, or perhaps to ensure that it did not engage in any role or any progress in areas after Shabwa, but he ruled out that the UAE did not expect this escalation.

He added, “So far, things are heading for an escalation, and we may witness intense military operations, as happened in Sanaa, and this development may continue, although the truce is possible, but it is conditional, and the party to which it can turn – such as the Omanis, for example – or parties that have channels of communication.”

But if there is a truce in the future and the UAE returns to the fronts with the Houthis in the eastern and northern regions, the war will continue, and only a regional player will be absent, and the battle will continue with other powers until the Houthis and the Saudis reach an agreement, according to Naji.

And the depiction of the battle adds that if the UAE reduces support, which means that the Houthis won the war, it may be an inaccurate portrayal.

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