Houthis pose great danger to the world, Yemen foreign minister says

Ahmed bin Mubarak tells 'The National' that rebels must face harsh consequences for actions against UAE

Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak said the international community must act to stop the Houthis. AP
Powered by automated translation

Latest: Timeline of the deadly Abu Dhabi attack

The Houthi rebel group is a threat to the whole world, Yemen's foreign minister said on Wednesday, following a drone attack carried out by the militia on the UAE this week.

Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak told The National the international community must act to stop the group.

“The whole world, with the exception of the regime in Tehran and its tools, has become fully aware of the danger of this militia and the extremist ideas and ideologies it represents,” Mr bin Mubarak said.

[The Houthis'] danger is not only to Yemen, but to the region and the world
Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak

“Its danger is not only to Yemen, but to the region and the world.”

Houthi militias launched a drone assault on the Mussaffah ICAD area and a construction site at Abu Dhabi Airport.

The attacks, which caused three petroleum tankers to explode, killed two Indians and one Pakistani and injured six others.

The Iran-backed rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks and have continued launching missiles at Saudi Arabia.

“These attacks provided clear and conclusive evidence, in addition to all the crimes that the Houthi militia commits on a daily basis against the Yemeni people, that it is a terrorist militia that does not understand the language of dialogue and peace,” Mr bin Mubarak said.

Leaders from around the world have condemned the attack and the threat against the UAE’s security.

But Mr bin Mubarak said the statements are not “sufficient” to prevent the Houthis from conducting future attacks.

“Rather, clear messages must be sent that the international community will not allow a rogue group to tamper with the security of the region and that it will not escape punishment for these crimes,” Mr bin Mubarak said.

The international community must take a “decision to classify the Houthis as a terrorist group, prevent the flow of Iranian weapons to it, work to support the Yemeni government and the National Army in confronting it, and rid the Yemeni people from its afflictions”, he added.

Mr bin Mubarak stated that the Houthis' actions pose a grave danger to global energy sources and international shipping lines.

“The international community must take steps in this regard.”

Peace in Yemen a distant hope

The UAE said that drones were the suspected method behind the attack, but an investigation is still ongoing. Explosive drones, or the “loitering munitions” suspected in this case, are a growing challenge to advanced militaries around the world.

Mr bin Mubarak said that for years, his government has welcomed peace initiatives aimed at ending the war in his country, which has raged since 2014.

“We’ve made many concessions but the Houthis are proving day after day that they are not worthy of this and they do not want peace and coexistence,” he said.

Peace efforts led by the UN have stalled as has progress made during talks in Geneva and Sweden aimed at ending the deadly war.

The rebels, despite their losses on the ground, have continued to violate human rights by recruiting children to serve on the front lines of the battle, Mr bin Mubarak said.

He added that the rebels have blackmailed and intimidated the families of children to “forcibly recruit them and indoctrinate them with sectarian ideologies, in addition to exploiting poverty to mobilise fighters in exchange for aid".

Tribesmen have also come under threat, he said, as they are often detained and forced to fight in the war.

“This represents war crimes against humanity whose perpetrators must be brought to justice.”

If the attacks conducted by the Houthis on Yemenis and the region are not classified as terror acts, Mr bin Mubarak said, then “what is terrorism?”

Updated: January 20, 2022, 3:27 AM