Saudi Arabia leads global condemnation of Houthi attack targeting Abu Dhabi

Update Men stand outside a storage facility of ADNOC in Abu Dhabi, on Jan. 17, 2022. Three people were killed in a suspected drone attack on ADNOC facilities on Monday. (AFP)
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Men stand outside a storage facility of ADNOC in Abu Dhabi, on Jan. 17, 2022. Three people were killed in a suspected drone attack on ADNOC facilities on Monday. (AFP)
Update Saudi Arabia leads global condemnation of Houthi attack targeting Abu Dhabi
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Updated 18 January 2022

Saudi Arabia leads global condemnation of Houthi attack targeting Abu Dhabi

Men stand outside a storage facility of ADNOC in Abu Dhabi, on Jan. 17, 2022. Three people were killed in a suspected drone attack on ADNOC facilities on Monday. (AFP)
  • Kingdom affirmed full support for UAE in the face of all threats to its security and stability
  • The UAE said it reserves the right to respond to the attack

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister strongly condemned a Houthi “terrorist attack” targeting civilian areas and facilities in the UAE on Monday.

A drone attack targeting a key oil facility in Abu Dhabi killed three people and sparked a separate fire at Abu Dhabi's international airport on Monday, police said.

The attack, claimed by the Houthis, also resulted in six people being injured. 

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Three people – one Pakistani and two Indian - were killed and six others injured after three fuel tankers exploded in the industrial area of Musaffah ICAD 3 near an ADNOC storage unit in Abu Dhabi. Click here for more.

During a phone call with his Emirati counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan affirmed the Kingdom's full solidarity with the UAE in the face of all threats to its security and stability.

Prince Faisal stressed that the security of the UAE and Saudi Arabia are indivisible and offered his condolences to the families of the victims of “this cowardly terrorist attack,” and to the government and people of the UAE.

An earlier statement issued by the Kingdom’s foreign ministry condemned in “the strongest terms” the “cowardly terrorist attack” that targeted Abu Dhabi International Airport on Monday.

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The statement said that this terrorist act, which the Houthis are responsible for, “reaffirms the danger of this terrorist group and its threat to security, peace, and stability in the region and the world.”

The Kingdom stressed that it continues to confront all Houthi terrorist attempts and practices through its leadership of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen.

The Kingdom offered its sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and to the government and people of the UAE, wishing a speedy recovery to all those injured in the attack.

Gulf condemnation

The UAE said it reserves the right to respond after the Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi killed three Abu Dhabi National Oil Company employees.

“We condemn the terrorist Houthi militia's targeting of civilian areas and facilities on UAE soil today,” the country’s foreign minister said.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan stressed that the attack would not go unpunished.

The foreign ministry described the attack “as a heinous crime committed by the Houthi militia” that goes against international and humanitarian law.

The ministry said that the militia continues its crimes unchecked in an effort to spread terrorism and chaos in the region in order to achieve its illegal aims and objectives.

It called on the international community to condemn and completely reject these terrorist acts that target civilians and civilian facilities.

The ministry expressed its sincere condolences to the families of those who died in the attack and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Earlier on Monday, Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the UAE President, said the concerned authorities in the UAE are dealing with the “Houthi aggression” on civilian facilities in Abu Dhabi transparently and responsibly.

The militia’s violation of the region’s stability is too weak to affect the security and safety of the UAE, he added.

“The fate of this thoughtlessness and reckless foolishness is demise and defeat,” Gargash said.

Bahrain’s foreign ministry also condemned the attack and said that the “cowardly terrorist attack, which resulted in the death of three civilians and the injury of others, violates international humanitarian law and all other international laws.”

The attack “constitutes a blatant attack on the sovereignty of the UAE, reflecting the insistence of the terrorist Houthi militia to continue their cowardly criminal attacks,” the ministry said.

The ministry called upon the international community to take “necessary steps against the militia, whose hostile acts confirm that they are a terrorist organisation that poses a serious threat to the stability and security of the region.”

Kuwait also condemned the attack and the targeting of civilian areas in the UAE by the Houthi militia.

The country’s foreign ministry said the militia’s continued targeting of civilians and civilian areas and their insistence on violating international law confirms the danger of their behavior and the need for the international community to put an end to it.

The ministry said it supports any steps taken by the UAE to protect its security and stability.

Qatar expressed its strong condemnation and denunciation of the attack and said it considered the targeting of civilian establishments and vital facilities as a terrorist act that violates all international norms and laws.

The country’s foreign ministry reiterated Qatar's firm position on rejecting violence and terrorist acts that target civilians and civilian facilities.

Meanwhile, Oman’s foreign ministry expressed solidarity with the UAE and pledged to fully support the country’s measures in maintaining its security and stability.

In a statement issued on Monday, Oman strongly condemned the attack that targeted the UAE territories and killed civilians. 

Global condemnation 

The UN’s Secretary-General condemned the Houthi attack and urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint.

“Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited by international law,” Antonio Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any escalation amidst heightened tensions in the region. There are no military solutions to the conflict in Yemen,” Dujarric added.

The US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the Department of Defense on Tuesday “strongly condemned” the attack.

“We remain committed to the UAE’s security and ability to defend itself, and stand united with our Emirati partners in defending against all threats to their territory,” Austin said.

In Rome, Italy condemned the missile and drone attacks and warned that this could badly impact regional stability.

“Italy … expresses solidarity with the victims’ families, and is close to the UAE government at this moment,” said the Foreign Ministry.

Rome “strongly condemns an act that, fueling the spiral of violence, may have repercussions on the entire region’s stability,” it added.

A ministry spokesman told Arab News: “Attacks against civilian targets jeopardize prospects for resumed peace talks aimed at ending the seven-year-old conflict in Yemen. We fully support such talks, and reaffirm our complete confidence in efforts toward a negotiated solution being pursued by UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg.”

News of the attacks was discussed in a late-night debate in Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Parliament, where support for the UAE was strongly expressed by all parties.

“Italy and NATO must immediately take sides alongside the friends of the UAE to prevent the outbreak of a new and very dangerous war in the Arabian Gulf, with scary implications,” said Michaela Biancofiore, group leader of the Coraggio Italia party in the Chamber of Deputies’ Foreign Affairs Committee.

Massimo Mallegni, a senator for Forza Italia, told Arab News that the attacks are “a clear signal of the will to threaten not only the security of the UAE but also peace and stability in the Arab region. The civil war in Yemen is objectively a worrying danger for the UAE and for the Saudi government — Italy can only be on the side of those two friendly nations.”

The US strongly condemned “today’s terrorist attack in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates” and will work to hold the Houthi militia accountable after they claimed responsibility for the incident, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Monday.

“Our commitment to the security of the UAE is unwavering and we stand beside our Emirati partners against all threats to their territory,” Sullivan said.

Japan also strongly condemned the attacks claimed by the Yemen-based Houthis against the United Arab Emirates and called for an immediate halt to such attacks.

An official statement issued by the foreign ministry in Tokyo on Jan. 18 said the government of Japan expresses its condolences to those who lost lives in the incidents and their bereaved families.

“Peace and stability in the Middle East are important for the international community. The Government of Japan remains committed to continuously making serious efforts, in cooperation with countries concerned, to maintain and reinforce peace and stability in the Middle East,” the ministry said.

Following the attack, the UAE will ask the US to put the Houthis back on its list of terrorist organizations, Bloomberg reported.

The UAE will work on building pressure through the UN Security Council over the strike on Monday and the Houthi seizure of Emirati vessel Rwabee earlier this month, a source told Bloomberg.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also condemned the Houthi attack on the UAE in a phone call with his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Emirates News Agency reported.

Yemen’s foreign ministry said the attack shows the frustration felt by the militia after their recent losses in Shabwa, which was completely reclaimed from them last week, and the oil-rich province of Marib.

The ministry renewed its support for the Kingdom and the UAE and any measures taken by the countries to “confront these despicable terrorist acts, preserve the safety of their citizens and residents on their lands, and protect vital facilities.”

The Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen said that Houthi targeting of civilians in the Kingdom and the UAE are war crimes and that the militia must be held accountable.

It described Monday's hostile attack on the UAE as “cowardly” and “evil.”

Coalition spokesman Brigadier General Turki Al-Maliki said Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE are a threat to regional and international security and a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.

“We will take the necessary operational measures to deter the hostile behavior of the Houthi militia,” Al-Maliki said.

“The escalation and hostile behavior of the Houthi militia confirms its threat to regional security and their attacks are an extension of their threat to the freedom of maritime navigation and global trade,” he added.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation strongly condemned the terrorist attack and said it stands in solidarity with the UAE and supports any steps that the country takes to protect its safety.

Jordan’s foreign ministry said the country condemned “this cowardly terrorist attack” and stressed its absolute solidarity with the UAE.

“The security of the UAE is an integral part of Jordan’s security,” the ministry said.

It extended condolences to the families of the victims, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Egypt’s Sameh Shoukri, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt, also told Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan during a phone call that the UAE's national security closely linked to Egypt's security. 

Shoukri said Egypt strongly condemns the terrorist attack by the Houthi militia on civilian areas and facilities in UAE and fully supports the Gulf country’s measures taken to deal with any acts of terrorism. 

Meanwhile, Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, expressed similar sentiments in a phone call with his counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. 

The Moroccan minister reiterated his country’s solidarity with the UAE in all its measures to defend its territories and the security of its residents.

He also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery for those who were injured in the incident. 

The Arab Parliament issued a statement on Monday condeming the attack. 

 The Arab Parliament reiterated in its statement that the attack represents the Houthi militia’s cowardly terrorist aggression, is a violation of international humanitarian law and “a blatant attack on the sovereignty of the UAE.” 

It has also called on the international community to “take firm steps against these militias whose criminal acts confirm that they are a terrorist organisation that poses a serious threat to the security and stability of the region.”

Mohamed Al Halbousi, Speaker of Iraq's Council of Representatives, also condemned the attack by the Houthis in the UAE during a phone call with Saqr Ghobash, Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), and offered his condolences to the victims’ families.

The European Union condemned the attack and said targeting civilians is “unacceptable.”

The Houthi attack increases the risk of escalating the conflict in Yemen and undermines efforts to end the war there, the EU said.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Lizz Truss condemned “in the strongest terms the Houthi-claimed terrorist attacks on the United Arab Emirates.”

France condemned “in the strongest terms” the deadly drone attack on Abu Dhabi.
“These attacks threaten the security of the United Arab Emirates and regional stability,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
“France expresses its support for the UAE in the face of these attacks,” he said.
Le Drian reiterated his call for the Houthis to “immediately cease their destabilising actions in Yemen and in the region and to engage constructively in a political process for exiting the crisis.”
“France reaffirms its mobilisation in favour of a cessation of hostilities in the whole country and a relaunch of talks with a view to a global political agreement under the aegis of the United Nations,” the minister said.

Algeria also condemned the attack.


Russia sends reinforcements to northern Syria

Russia sends reinforcements to northern Syria
Updated 57 min 52 sec ago

Russia sends reinforcements to northern Syria

Russia sends reinforcements to northern Syria
  • The move by Damascus ally Moscow comes after Ankara launched air strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria and Iraq on November 20
  • Residents of Tal Rifaat, a Kurdish-held pocket north of Aleppo, told AFP that Russian troop reinforcements had reached the city

QAMISHLI, Syria: Russia deployed troop reinforcements Wednesday to an area of northern Syria controlled by Kurdish fighters and government troops, residents and a war monitor said, amid fears of a Turkish ground incursion.
The move by Damascus ally Moscow comes after Ankara launched air strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria and Iraq on November 20, a week after a deadly Istanbul bombing that it blamed on Kurdish militants, who have denied responsibility.
Residents of Tal Rifaat, a Kurdish-held pocket north of Aleppo, told AFP that Russian troop reinforcements had reached the city.
Tal Rifaat lies 15 kilometers (nine miles) south of the border with Turkiye. Kurdish forces control the city and surrounding villages, and Russian troops were already present in the area.
Residents said Russian forces had set up roadblocks at a nearby village separating it from positions under the control of Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel proxies.
Turkish proxies control areas surrounding Tal Rifaat from the north, while Russian-backed Syrian troops control zones mostly to the south.
After carrying out a series of air strikes, Turkiye has threatened to launch a ground incursion into northern Syria, including the Tal Rifaat pocket as well as Kobani and Manbij further east.
Kobani and Manbij are under the control of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which include the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), one of the groups Turkiye accuses of being behind the Istanbul bombing.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said Russia was also reinforcing its troops at a government-controlled air base near Tal Rifaat.
The reinforcements could be an attempt “to stop or put off the Turkish operation,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria have called on Russia to dissuade Turkiye from launching a ground offensive against them, their commander said on Tuesday.
The Observatory said Russian reinforcements had also reached the outskirts of the border city of Kobani.
Russian troops deployed in some Kurdish-controlled border areas of northern Syria following a 2019 agreement that sought to avert a previous Turkish incursion threat.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that Turkiye was more determined than ever to secure its border with Syria from attacks by Kurdish fighters, threatening a ground operation “at the most convenient time.”
Since 2016, Turkiye has carried out successive operations against Kurdish forces in northern Syria that have installed its proxies in several areas along the border.


Earthquake of magnitude 5.6 strikes southern Iran; felt in UAE — EMSC

Earthquake of magnitude 5.6 strikes southern Iran; felt in UAE — EMSC
Updated 30 November 2022

Earthquake of magnitude 5.6 strikes southern Iran; felt in UAE — EMSC

Earthquake of magnitude 5.6 strikes southern Iran; felt in UAE — EMSC
  • Iranian state TV reported that rescue teams were dispatched to the quake-hit area and added there were no casualties

DUBAI: An Earthquake of magnitude 5.6 struck southern Iran on Wednesday and was felt in the United Arab Emirates, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) said.
Iranian state TV reported that rescue teams were dispatched to the quake-hit area and added there were no casualties.
The quake was at a depth of 10 km (6 miles) and about 88 km northwest of Ras Al Khaimah City in the UAE, EMSC added.


Daesh announces death of leader

Daesh announces death of leader
Updated 30 November 2022

Daesh announces death of leader

Daesh announces death of leader
  • Speaking in an audio message, the spokesman identified the group’s new leader as Abu Al-Hussein Al-Husseini Al-Qurashi
  • The White House welcomed the news that the leader was killed

BEIRUT: Daesh said Wednesday that its leader Abu Hasan Al-Hashimi Al-Qurashi has been killed in battle and announced a replacement.
A spokesman for the group said Hashimi, an Iraqi, was killed “in combat with enemies of God,” without elaborating on the date of his death or the circumstances.
Speaking in an audio message, the spokesman identified the group’s new leader as Abu Al-Hussein Al-Husseini Al-Qurashi.

The White House welcomed the news that the leader was killed, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
“We’re still working our way through that,” Kirby said, when asked about reports of the leader’s death. “We welcome the announcement that another leader of Daesh is no longer walking the face of the Earth.”
After a meteoric rise in Iraq and Syria in 2014 that saw it conquer vast swathes of territory, Daesh saw its self-proclaimed “caliphate” collapse under a wave of offensives.
It was defeated in Iraq in 2017 and in Syria two years later, but sleeper cells of the Sunni Muslim extremist group still carry out attacks in both countries and claim attacks elsewhere in the world.
The group’s previous leader, Abu Ibrahim Al-Qurashi, was killed earlier this year in a US raid in Idlib province in northern Syria.
His predecessor Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed, also in Idlib, in October 2019.


Egypt expresses support for Palestinians on international solidarity day

Egypt expresses support for Palestinians on international solidarity day
Updated 30 November 2022

Egypt expresses support for Palestinians on international solidarity day

Egypt expresses support for Palestinians on international solidarity day
  • Aboul Gheit criticized the international community’s inaction over continued Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian people
  • The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the country stands with Palestine on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

CAIRO: The Arab League celebrated on Nov. 29 the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People with a high-level diplomatic and cultural event in Cairo.
The event was attended by many representatives of Arab countries and foreign diplomats in Cairo as well as a number of public figures.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary-general of the bloc, delivered an opening speech at the event, which also witnessed speeches by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, and representatives of the UN, Al-Azhar Al-Sharif and the Egyptian Church.
Aboul Gheit criticized the international community’s inaction over continued Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian people, including the killing of civilians by the occupation forces, the recent incursions and the unjust siege Israel has imposed on more than 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip for 15 years.
He specifically thanked the new Australian government for its reversal of a previous government’s decision to relocate the Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem.
He warned of the consequences of countries transferring their embassies to occupied Jerusalem and urged those that did to retract their decision, just like Australia.
Aboul Gheit called on the countries of the world to recognize the Palestinian state in order for it to obtain full membership in the UN.
He also appealed to the international community to support Palestinian diplomatic efforts to present the issue of occupation at the International Court of Justice, stressing that this path is what gives Palestinians hope that the world has not abandoned them.
Meanwhile, Al-Maliki gave a presentation on the dangers associated with the formation of a right-wing government in Israel and the negative repercussions this entails for the two-state vision.
Aboul Gheit emphasized the need to put the recent Algiers summit decisions into action by backing the Palestinians and confronting the Israeli extreme right.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the country stands with Palestine on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and will always support the Palestinian cause as the central issue of the Arab world.
The ministry stressed that Egypt’s position with regard to the Palestinian issue has not changed and will not change.
It is not conceivable that regional stability will be achieved in the Middle East without a just and comprehensive settlement of the issue on the basis of the two-state solution, it added.
Egypt stressed the need to put an end to the cycle of violence in the occupied Palestinian territories and to stop taking unilateral measures, foremost of which are illegal settlement activities, policies of eviction of Palestinians in Jerusalem, changes to the demographic character of the city and the division of Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings, the statement said.
Egypt said it will, with the help of the international community, keep making unceasing and earnest efforts to restart the peace process and persuade parties to come together for negotiations.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed with Al-Maliki the coordination of efforts at the regional and international levels to put the Palestinian cause back under the spotlight.
Shoukry expressed Egypt’s deep concern about developments in the occupied territories.
He said Egypt will always support the right of the Palestinian people to establish their own independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
In 1977, the UN General Assembly declared Nov. 29 the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.


Rights group: 47 children among at least 378 killed in Iran protest crackdown

Rights group: 47 children among at least 378 killed in Iran protest crackdown
Updated 30 November 2022

Rights group: 47 children among at least 378 killed in Iran protest crackdown

Rights group: 47 children among at least 378 killed in Iran protest crackdown
  • The Islamic republic has been gripped by protests that erupted over Amini’s death on September 16
PARIS: Iranian security forces have killed at least 378 people — including 47 children — in a crackdown on protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death, a rights group said in an updated toll Saturday.
The Islamic republic has been gripped by protests that erupted over Amini’s death on September 16, three days after her arrest for an alleged breach of the country’s strict dress code for women.
The protests were fanned by fury over the dress rules for women, but have grown into a broad movement against the theocracy that has ruled Iran since the 1979 revolution.
“At least 378 protesters, including 47 children, have been killed by the oppressive forces since September 16,” Iran Human Rights director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said.
The figure represents an increase of 36 since the Norway-based group issued its previous toll on Wednesday.
It includes at least 123 people killed in the province of Sistan-Baluchistan, on Iran’s southeastern border with Pakistan, 40 in both Kurdistan and Tehran provinces and 39 in West Azerbaijan province.
Iran Human Rights warned that the regime had been mounting a “campaign of spreading lies” ahead of a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council next week.
“They have two goals by attributing the killing of the protesters to terrorist groups like Daesh,” Amiry-Moghaddam said, referring to the Daesh group.
“They want to use it as an excuse for more widespread use of live ammunition,” he said.
“And they also want to influence countries in the UN Human Rights Council who will gather on November 24 in a special session considering establishing an independent investigation and accountability mechanism” over the crackdown in Iran, he added.