DUBAI: UAE diplomats have urged Washington to re-designate Yemen’s Houthi militia as a terrorist organization, news channel Al-Arabiya reported, citing an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal.
US Yousef al-Otaiba and UAE permanent representative to the UN Lana Zaki Nusseibeh wrote that the re-designation “would help choke off [the Houthis’] financial and arms supplies without restricting humanitarian relief for the Yemeni people.”
President Joe Biden’s administration revoked the Houthis ‘terrorist’ classification, which was introduced by former President Donald Trump last February.
The UAE diplomats also called on the US to provide the UAE with better anti-missile and anti-drone equipment in order for the country to continue defending itself against the Houthis.
“Better anti-missile and anti-drone capabilities are... needed. The US Patriot and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems prevented an even greater loss of life in the January strikes,” Al-Otaiba and Nusseibeh wrote.
This comes after Abu Dhabi was attacked three times in January by the Houthis, who targeted civilian sites using ballistic missiles and explosive drones, which led to the death of three residents.
“The UAE will intensify its cooperation with the US to expand and improve this protective umbrella for itself, US assets in the region and other Gulf allies,” Al-Otaiba and Nusseibeh added.
Washington had announced earlier that its military forces in the Gulf country deployed Patriot surface-to-air missiles to intercept Houthi attacks on the capital, Abu Dhabi.
In the opinion piece, Al-Otaiba and Nusseibeh also called for more pressure to be applied on Iran, which has providing the Houthis with both financial and military support.
According to a draft UN Security Council report circulated in January, Iran has been exporting thousands of weapons from the Iranian port of Jask on the Sea of Oman to Yemen.