UAE oil tanker bombed - 2 Indians and 1 Pakistani people died
- Three fuel trucks exploded and a fire broke out near Abu Dhabi airport
- Three dead, six injured in the explosions claimed by Yemen’s Houthis.
- The attacks took place near storage facilities of state oil firm ADNOC and a construction site near Abu Dhabi International airport in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi police said Monday.
- Authorities believe the attack was carried out by drones.
Who are Houthis
- The Houthi movement was founded in the 1990s by Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, a member of Yemen’s Zaidi Shia minority, which makes up about one-third of the population.
- Hussein was killed by Yemeni soldiers in 2004, and the group is now led by his brother Abdul Malik.
- The Zaidis, once a powerful force in north Yemen, were sidelined during the 1962-70 civil war and then further alienated in the 1980s as Salafist Sunni ideals gained prominence across the border in Saudi Arabia, which exported the ideology to Yemen.
- In response, Zaidi clerics began to militarise their followers against Riyadh and its allies.
- The intermittent insurgency gained support from Shia Yemenis fed up with the corruption and cruelty of the long-time authoritarian president and Saudi ally, Ali Abdullah Saleh, particularly during the aftermath of 9/11 and the US invasion of Iraq.
Background of UAE and Yemen conflict
- The conflict has its roots in the Arab Spring of 2011, when an uprising forced the country’s long-time authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand over power to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
- The political transition was supposed to bring stability to Yemen, one of the Middle East’s poorest nations, but President Hadi struggled to deal with various problems including militant attacks, corruption, food insecurity, and continuing loyalty of many military officers to Saleh.
- Since 2014, Yemen is facing a multi-sided conflict involving local, regional, and international actors.
- The Houthis, a group of Zaidi Shia Muslims who ruled a kingdom there for nearly 1,000 years.
- They used widespread anger against President Hadi’s decision to postpone long-awaited elections and his stalled negotiations over a new constitution to protest against the government.
- They marched from their stronghold of Saada province to the capital Sanaa and surrounded the presidential palace, placing Hadi under house arrest.
- The war has reached a stalemate long ago. The Houthis are facing the loss of territory in recent years, while the Saudi coalition is facing growing international pressure.
- A solution to the conflict can be found only if the rebels and the government make some political concessions.
- The USA administration should use its leverage to pressure Riyadh to lift the blockade, a key Houthi demand, as a confidence-building measure and push for talks for a lasting ceasefire.