UAE will resist terrorist aggression after Abu Dhabi Houthi attack, says Anwar Gargash

Gulf nations have called on the international community to take action against Yemen’s Houthi militia

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Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to President Sheikh Khalifa, vowed the UAE would stand firm against acts of terrorist aggression after a foiled attack on Abu Dhabi by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

UAE fighter jets destroyed a missile battery used to fire rockets towards the capital in the early hours of Monday.

Authorities stated the attempted strike “did not result in any casualties, as the remnants of the intercepted and destroyed ballistic missiles fell in separate areas around the emirate”.

Dr Gargash said the UAE “remains resistant to aggressors” and pledged to continue to oppose terrorism.

He said the UAE would “remain a fortress in the face of the forces of darkness and terror” and that the Houthis promise only “doom and ruin”.

“They failed and their efforts failed,” he said.

The Ministry of Defence released footage of a strike by F-16 jets in Al Jawf, near Houthi-controlled Sanaa in Yemen.

The attack took place at 4.10am, shortly after the launcher fired two ballistic rockets towards the Emirati capital. Both were shot down by air defences protecting the city.

Al Jawf is about 1,400 kilometres south-west of Abu Dhabi.

Last week, after a Houthi strike on an Adnoc oil storage plant killed three workers and injured six, the government said it “reserves right to retaliate”.

A projectile fired at Abu Dhabi International Airport caused a minor fire in an under-construction extension area, away from the terminal, with no injuries.

Dr Gargash described that incident as a “heinous attack on civilian facilities”.

Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE's ambassador to US, said close co-operation between the UAE and the US helped intercept and destroy the ballistic missiles.

The next step is to cut all financial and arms support to the organisation, he said.

"The US should move now to put the Houthis back on the terrorist list,” Mr Al Otaiba said.

Flights unaffected

In Abu Dhabi on Monday, pupils returned to schools as planned after several weeks of remote learning, and the roads were busy.

At the airport, flights took off as normal.

No flights were planned between 3.45am and 5.10am, and 17 flights took off between then and 9am as scheduled, the airport’s live board showed.

“All flights are operating as scheduled,” said Etihad Airways, which is based at Abu Dhabi International Airport. “The safety of passengers and employees is the highest priority.”

Gulf nations call for international action

In Saudi Arabia, the Coalition said it had destroyed a ballistic missile launched by the Houthis towards the city of Dhahran Al Janub early on Monday.

In a statement issued by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the kingdom stressed the “urgent need for the international community to act, especially the UN Security Council”.

It said the Houthis aimed to destabilise the region’s security and stability.

Gulf neighbours have condemned the foiled attack on Abu Dhabi by the Yemeni rebel group and called for the international community to take action against their acts of “terrorist aggression”.

Bahrain “strongly condemned and denounced” the attacks in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

It described them as an act of “terrorist aggression targeting the lives of innocent people and civil objects and in contravention of international humanitarian law”.

Bahrain’s Foreign Affairs Ministry reaffirmed the country’s support for both of its Middle East allies and called on the international community to “take firm measures to stop the Houthi aggression in the region”.

Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry denounced the “cowardly terrorist attacks by Houthi militias with drones and ballistic missiles against civilians and civilian targets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE”.

Egypt and Jordan demonstrated their support of the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the wake of the Houthi assaults.

The Gulf Co-operation Council said the failed Houthi attacks demonstrated their disregard for international law.

“The continuous terrorist attacks of Al Houthi militias reflect their blatant defiance of the international community, their disdain for all international laws and norms, and their rejection of all efforts aimed at bringing peace to Yemen,” said Nayef Al Hajraf, Secretary General of the GCC.

Turkey also showed solidarity for both the Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

“We condemn the terror acts perpetrated on 24 January with ballistic missiles and drones against civilian targets in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia,” the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

“We demand that these attacks, which constitute a clear violation of international law, stop immediately.”

The Arab Parliament also strongly condemned the terrorist attacks.

In a statement, it said such attacks threaten regional security and expressed solidarity with the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Don’t be swayed by fake news

Dr Sultan Mohammed Al Nuami, director general of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research think tank, called on the public to use official sources for information, particularly following incidents such as this.

Last week, after the first attack on Abu Dhabi, hoax images were shared online, from foreign social media accounts in particular.

“Don’t be affected by the acts of terrorist organisations led by the Houthis, who are attempting to cause disruption,” he said.

“We all have a national responsibility towards this country.

“It is our duty to raise awareness and our national pride that is ingrained within us. It is important to get our news from official sources.

“It is our duty to not go after fake news.

“Everything we photograph and circulate through social media falls within our social responsibility and responsibility towards the country.”

Updated: January 25, 2022, 6:55 AM
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