Biden reaffirms US support for UAE against terrorism, one year since Houthi attacks
– Al Arabiya English
17 January , 2023
US President Joe Biden meets with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 16, 2022. (File photo: Reuters)
President Joe Biden reaffirmed the US’ commitment to the safety and security of the UAE as the Gulf nation marks one year since the deadly Iran-backed Houthi attack on the country.
“Working in close cooperation with my friend President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the United States will continue to support the UAE as it defends itself against threats – whether from Yemen or anywhere else,” Biden was quoted as saying in a statement released by the White House.
“We remain steadfast in our pursuit of diplomacy to bring a peaceful end to the war in Yemen, and the United States will continue to support the security of the UAE and our other partners in the Middle East, including providing needed military assistance,” it added.
“Therefore, as we commemorate the tragic events of one year ago, we stand resolute to ensure it cannot happen again.”
Three people were killed and six injured when a drone and missile attack caused a fuel tank to explode.
At the time, the Yemen-based militia claimed responsibility for the attack saying it conducted an operation “deep in the UAE,” with the group’s spokesman saying they fired five ballistic missiles and “a large number” of explosive-laden drones at “sensitive sites” in the UAE.
The act was met with global condemnation and threats of sanctions. The US, UK and France also agreed to bolster the UAE’s defenses.
Adviser to the UAE President Dr. Anwar Gargash wrote on Twitter on the eve of the terrorist attack:
“…The nation is more powerful and invincible and more determined to continue its development path. They [Iran-backed Houthis] wanted to shake confidence in our country, but it is stronger than any terrorist threat, proud of the determination of its leadership and people and its capabilities to protect its gains and achievements and our national cohesion.”
He continued, “A year has passed, and terrorism has only increased us in strength and honor.”
In 2020, Biden’s administration revoked a terrorist designation of the Houthis introduced by former President Donald Trump. Biden also announced ending US support for the operations of the Arab Coalition, which intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the internationally recognized government.
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis are still in control of the capital city of Sanaa. A UN-brokered truce deal agreed in April which rolled over twice delivered the longest stretch of relative calm that has largely held since its expiry on October 2.
The United Nations has been pushing for an extended and broader deal encompassing a mechanism to pay public sector wages, which the Houthis had criticized for not including armed forces members.