UAE asks US to reinstate Houthi 'terrorist' designation after Abu Dhabi attack: report

UAE asks US to reinstate Houthi 'terrorist' designation after Abu Dhabi attack: report
2 min read
18 January, 2022
UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed asked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to restore a terror designation for the Houthis, a senior Emirati official reportedly said.
Three people were killed and six others injured in the attack on an oil site in Abu Dhabi [AFP via Getty]

The UAE on Monday asked the US to reinstate its designation of Yemen's Houthi rebels as a terror organisation after a deadly attack on an oil site in the capital Abu Dhabi, according to a US media report.

UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan asked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to restore the terror designation of the Houthis "based on their current actions", a senior Emirati official told Axios.

"The latest attack on civilian targets in Abu Dhabi, and the hijacking of a UAE-flagged ship, fall squarely in that category," the official said.

The US removed the Houthis from its list of terror organisations in February last year, weeks after Joe Biden was inaugurated as president.

Three people were killed and six others injured after a suspected drone strike set off an explosion at an oil storage facility in Abu Dhabi. The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized a UAE-flagged ship off the coast of Hodeida, Yemen's main port on 3 January, coinciding with the second anniversary of the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. The Houthis claimed the ship was carrying military equipment.

The US has vowed to hold the Houthis accountable for Monday's attack.

"Our commitment to the security of the UAE is unwavering, and we stand beside our Emirati partners against all threats to their territory," White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said.

The UAE has been part of an Arab coalition supporting the Yemeni government against Houthi rebels, who took over the capital in September 2014.

An air assault and blockade on Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition has led to the world's worst humanitarian crisis.