UN report on Yemen requires review and response: UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

Dr Anwar Gargash also tells of need to roll back Iranian influence for future stability of Arabian Gulf

Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash speaks to journalists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, June 18, 2018. The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition fighting against Shiite rebels for control of Yemen's port city of Hodeida. Gargash said Monday that the battle for Hodeida is aimed at forcing the country’s Shiite rebels into negotiating an end to a yearslong war. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)
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Dr Anwar Gargash on Tuesday said a UN report suggesting war crimes had been committed in Yemen showed a need to “answer its merits and review what it says about the horrors of Houthi criminality on civilian population”.

Dr Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, also told of the need to roll back Iranian influence that could undermine the security of the Arabian Gulf for generations.

He said that every crisis has its own “political and humanitarian challenges”, but the UAE was committed to the Arab Coalition’s mission to return stability to all of Yemen.

The UN’s Group of Independent Eminent International and Regional Experts, which was created by the UN Human Rights Council last September, detailed a long list of abuse.

Also on Tuesday, heavy air strikes targeted the international airport north of rebel-held Sanaa and the Al Dailami military air base early in the morning.

The raids lasted half an hour and consisted of eight strikes, nearby residents told The National.

While the largely disused airport and the Al Dailami base are often targeted by the Arab coalition, the latest air strikes were particularly intense, residents said.

"Very enormous explosions targeted the airport and the air base of Al Dailami last night, meanwhile jets kept hovering over Sanaa up to the early morning," a resident said.

The strikes came hours after Iran-backed Houthis claimed to have targeted Dubai airport with a drone attack, which was denied by the UAE, a leading member of the coalition.

"Air traffic movement in the UAE is normal with no disruptions. Houthi media claims regarding Dubai International Airport are untrue" the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority said.

Reports of a drone attack were also widely discredited by airport users who shared images and videos on social media, showing that air traffic had not been affected and the airport was operating as normal.

On the outskirts of Al Duraihimi, high-ranking Houthi leaders, including a Hezbollah-trained officer, were killed on Sunday when their car was targeted during clashes between rebel fighters and pro-government forces.

"The Houthi officer Hussein Obad Al Rajehi was killed along with Mohammed Al Washaly and Fadhl Sharaf, who are prominent Houthi officers leading the Houthi fighters in Al Duraihimi," Aseel Al Sakladi, the director of the Al Amalikah brigades media centre said.

"The Houthi officer Fadhl Sharaf is one of the Houthi officers who had been trained by Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2004 and is one of the closest officers to the top Houthi leader Abdulmalik Al Houthi," Mr Al Sakladi said.


Read more:

Coalition criticises UN 'bias' reporting on civilian deaths

Yemen military seize strategic mountain range near Taez

Yemen rebels attacked UN food store near Hodeidah, says minister

Saudi Arabia's US ambassador posts evidence of Hezbollah in Yemen


On Monday the Yemeni army backed by the Arab coalition launched new operations in the district of Mawiya, east of Taez, Lt Mohammed Al Naqeeb told The National.

Lt Al Naqeeb said troops affiliated with the army's 4th military zone stormed Mawiya, liberating large areas of the district between Sunday and Monday.

"The army forces backed by the Arab coalition aircraft liberated on Tuesday Al Hasham area in Mawiya after liberating the areas of Al Hawamerah and Thamran — strategic mountains on the borders with the southern area of Karesh," said Lt Al Naqeeb. This, he said, "gives the army a privilege to control wide swathes in the district".

According to Lt Al Naqeeb, the total liberation of Mawiya would be announced in the coming days.