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The New Arab Staff

UAE gave Yemen's separatists unmanned drones: official

The image showing the alleged drone was shared online [Twitter]

Date of publication: 21 November, 2020

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Two unmanned drones that were given to Yemen's southern separatists were downed in ongoing battles in Abyan, government officials said.
The United Arab Emirates has armed southern separatists with unmanned drones, officials from Yemen's intentionally-recognised government said.

The drones were allegedly shot down by government forces amid ongoing battles in Abyan, Mukhtar Al-Rahbi, the advisor to the minister of information said on Twitter.

"These aircraft were delivered to the militias by the United Arab Emirates that is proficient in targeting the army and the people of Yemen," Al-Rahbi said on Twitter, describing the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council as terrorist militias.

The UAE "also played the same role in Libya, where they received a harsh lesson", Al-Rahbi said. 

"What awaits them in Yemen is worse," he warned.

Neither the UAE nor the STC have yet issued a statement.

Yemen's internationally-recognised government has long accused the UAE of supporting the secessionists to serve Emirati interests in Yemen.

The breakdown between the STC and the government has complicated the long and separate conflict between the Saudi-led military coalition and the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa.

In late July, the separatists said they came back to the Riyadh Agreement under pressure from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which had proposed a plan to "accelerate" the power-sharing process.

The Riyadh Agreement, which was struck late last year, was designed to mend a rift between allies in the war against Houthi rebels who have seized much of Yemen's north.

It sought to quell the "civil war within a civil war" and was hailed as a possible stepping stone towards ending the wider conflict.

In August, the Southern Transitional Council (STC) said in a statement that it had sent a letter to the Saudi authorities confirming "the suspension of its participation in the ongoing consultations to implement the agreement" due to ongoing military escalation in the flashpoint province of Abyan.

The battles have continued to ravage the southern Abyan region for several months.

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