Arab League seeks terror designation for Houthi rebels after Abu Dhabi attacks

Yemen's rebels will commit more crimes if international community does not take a decisive stand, says UAE representative

Minister of State Khalifa Al Marar during an emergency meeting of the Arab League at its headquarters in Cairo on Sunday. AFP
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The Arab League on Sunday condemned the strikes on Abu Dhabi by Yemen’s Houthi rebel group and called on the international community to designate it a terrorist organisation.

The attacks constituted a “blatant breach” of international law and a “genuine threat to vital civilian installations, energy supplies and the stability of the world economy", the pan-Arab group said after a meeting in Cairo.

“They also pose a threat to regional peace and security and undermine national Arab security."

The emergency meeting was held at the level of permanent representatives and attended by UAE Minister of State Khalifa Al Marar.

The meeting came two days after the UN Security Council unanimously condemned the strikes as “heinous terrorist attacks” and called for the perpetrators to face justice.

The attacks on Monday caused explosions in fuel lorries and started a blaze near Abu Dhabi International Airport. They left three civilians dead and injured six more.

Yemen has been mired in violence since the Houthis ousted the internationally recognised government from the capital Sanaa in 2014. A Saudi Arabia-led coalition intervened the following year to restore the legitimate government. The war has spawned what the UN has described as the world's largest humanitarian crisis.

The Arab League on Sunday welcomed the UN Security Council statement and said the strikes had laid bare the “terrorist nature” of the Houthi rebels and exposed their aim of undermining regional peace and stability.

Sunday’s meeting was led by Kuwait, the current chair of the pan-Arab organisation.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Al Marar warned the Houthi rebels would have a larger opportunity to commit more crimes in the region and against the Yemeni people if the international community did not take a “decisive” stand against them.

He said the UAE had the legal and moral right to defend itself.

“We cannot tolerate an environment plagued by terrorism,” he said.

The Houthi rebels, he said, could not have continued with their aggression had it not been for Iran’s support and arms supplies.

Last Monday, projectiles struck fuel tankers at Adnoc’s oil terminal in Mussaffah’s ICAD industrial area and started a blaze near Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Three people were killed and six injured.

The Houthis ousted the internationally recognised government from Yemen’s capital Sanaa in 2014. A Saudi-led coalition intervened the following year to restore the legitimate government.

Updated: January 24, 2022, 7:24 AM
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