Middle East, News Watch, Side Feature

Houthi Attacks on Abu Dhabi and the Motivations Behind it

The recent Houthi attacks on Abu Dhabi have once more raised doubts regarding the possibility of the bloody conflict in Yemen coming to an end. The Houthis launched a deadly strike on Abu Dhabi last week and a second foiled missile assault on Monday. The attack has created further complexity about the conflict within Yemen, and furthermore raised the question to why the Houthi’s decided to retaliate at such a particular time.

Prior to making sense of the current crisis, several points must be discussed in order for the reality to be clearer:

– To recap, the war in Yemen has been a proxy war ultimately between the United States and the United Kingdom where both powers have been utilising regional client states to secure their interests. An article published in late 2020 named, “Yemen and the Lords of the Desert” also confirms the former reality concerning Anglo-American struggle in Yemen. Over the years, depending on the different administrations within the White House, the Americans have been constantly manipulating Saudi Arabia and the Houthis, via Iran, interchangeably to either undermine or to penetrate the British Government of Hadi. On the other hand, the UK has been utilising the UAE and the Sultanate of Oman to reverse American presence or to at least insulate, vital British interests within Yemen from falling into American hands.

– In recent years, the UAE’s growing proximity towards the US has convinced many that the Emirates has turned on its British masters in exchange for a new one. Many perceive Abraham Accords and MBZ’s NY Times interview as having a major sign towards the country’s switch. Nevertheless, this does not prove for sure that Britain has lost its political gripping onto the Gulf nation. All royal families of each state have continued to exist since the creation of the United Arab Emirates by the British in 1971. No coup of any sorts has taken place within the royal family, which would indicate the nation’s switch to America’s sphere of influence. Since the Abu Dhabi family has always remained in charge of the ruling system, it cannot be definitively proved that the US has taken political control of the UAE. For example, Jordan on several occasions has abided by American polices concerning the Ash Sham region, Iraq during 2003 and the Zionist entity. Nevertheless, they remain British in terms of political loyalty ever since their creation. Similarly, the UAE is in the same boat as other British agents in the region.

– In response to the attacks, the British have hosted a meeting recently called- the Quint- alongside the UN Special Envoy, Hans Grunberg, who was warmly welcomed as a guest to the meeting. The joint communique mentioned the importance of an urgent and comprehensive political solution to the conflict. The Quint re-affirmed their support for the UN Special Envoy’s (UNSE) efforts to achieve this end, including renewed political talks. They called upon the leadership of Yemeni parties to the conflict to engage constructively with the UN Special Envoy as he deepens his consultations with them. However, two months ago, the United States had also resumed its process of a political solution to the crisis in Yemen through its Special envoy-Tim Lenderking. Mr. Lenderking record clearly illustrates that he is represented by the US. Mr. Grunberg’s record, on the other hand, demonstrates that he has been known to carry out the interests of the EU in foreign policy matters throughout his career.

Though the UK exited the EU, the recent published report called “Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development, and Foreign Policy” by the UK highlights that in the future Britain would continue to work with Europe on common foreign policy issues, which are beneficial to its interests. Henceforth, the former reality clearly shows that both America and Britain are using their envoys to carry out a political solution in their terms.

Since both powers are competing for political influence in the country, the UK has an advantage. This is because the UAE possesses a major influence via the Giant Brigades group in the oil rich region of Shabwa. Meaning the UK maintains grip on the strategic areas whereas Saudi Arabia does not, which spells a failure for the US. Furthermore, both UAE and Saudi possess several disputes regarding economic aspects, the strategic gains in Yemen and the OPEC oil prices which occurred last year.

Michael Knight from the Washington Institute of Near East Policy mentioned that the UAE withdrawal from Yemen could isolate and obstruct Saudi efforts in Yemen. He further mentioned that the UAE special forces began to roll back the Houthi rebel advance within Aden in April 2015, and that they were almost entirely alone. Consequently, the Saudi support was limited to some airstrikes, while the United States discouraged a unilateral UAE operation to save Southern Yemen from the Houthis.

Once again, the former situation clearly shows that the UAE is still British, as it secured liberated territories in south of Yemen -British strategic interests- and afterwards decided to withdraw, which left the American agent Saudi isolated. For this reason, the US was against UAE unilateral action concerning Yemen.

It is, therefore, in America’s interests to make Saudi Arabia and the UAE to work together in the foreseeable future instead of them being divided due to disagreements which can burden US plans from fruition and can instead help the UK in shielding its plans from outside interference. If the UAE and Saudi Arabia can work together towards a dangerous common threat, it would become difficult for the UK to influence the UAE’s actions since both Gulf states would be united. Furthermore, that would further allow the US to erase UK political influences from having any major effects on US policies.

On a further note, the attacks on Abu Dhabi could not have taken place unless Iran provided the permission and capabilities to the militia group to do so. In fact, the Iranians would not have been able to carry out such an operation of such nature without US consent. And Houthis have fulfilled the part of being the third party to preserve American interests. The proof for this lies in the statement of Michael Vickers. During the Obama period, the senior US intelligence official Michael Vickers once mentioned that intelligence had been provided to the Houthis for a long time. Hence, it is of no surprise that a back channel must have been established between US and Iran to carry out such an attack, which would make UAE reconsider its gains in the region of Shabwa.

Moreover, there is also the issue concerning the revival of the JCPOA. The resurrection of the nuclear deal with Iran for a long-time concern both the Gulf states and the Zionist entity who have been staunch in their opposition of the JCPOA. Recently, however, all the former countries have been contemplating that possibly a deal is better than a no deal. Still, a clear stance from the former countries is yet to be produced because they continue to possess mixed feelings towards the deal’s resurrection. Under Obama’s period, many Arab states and the Jewish entity were unhappy regarding the JCPOA 1.0, as it aided Iran’s economy through the exportation of its oil and consequently, allowed the Iranians to increase their influence on the Shiite militias across the Middle Eastern region. Even after the deal was enacted, many states in the region refused to come together and adopt a friendlier stance towards Iran because for decades Iran has been utilised as a bogeyman by the US for its self-interests in the region, which resulted in creating negative sentiments within its neighbours.

In December last year, The Politico Magazine published an article stating that Washington’s focus on China has left many states in the region worried that they would have to deal with Iran alone in the future. Furthermore, the article mentioned that “the 2015 Iran nuclear accord pushed these countries together in opposition to what seemed to be growing U.S. acceptance of Iran’s role in the region and serious questions about Washington’s security commitments. The Trump administration made some moves to reverse this fear by bolting from the Iran deal and solidifying relations with Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Still, these governments remained worried.” As a result, the recent Houthi attacks is a reminder from America to all its agents and the non-agents that the deal will go through no matter what, and that everyone in the region should accept this reality!

US president Joe Biden said reinstating the Houthi into the terrorist list was “under consideration” but added that “it’s going to be very difficult” to end the conflict pitting the Houthis against Yemen’s internationally recognised government and a Saudi-led military coalition to which the UAE belongs to. But when has it been ever difficult for the American superpower to add or remove someone from a terrorist list? Once again, the US is reminding its agent, the Saudis, the ‘Israelis’ and the British agent UAE that they should all put aside their differences and find a way to work together in the region and accept Iran’s presence. The former statement further confirms that the Americans want UAE to work with Saudi Arabia instead of the UAE acting upon the policies of Britain in Yemen since the Emiratis decided to withdraw from Yemen in return for maintaining an indirect presence which isolated KSA.

More importantly, America must withdraw from the region owing to China; hence, the superpower must leave behind a well-protected architecture and prevent further destabilization occurring within the Middle East. However, the process has been a difficult one since these states do not even recognise the meaning of independence, responsibility and effort because they have been agents all their lives. The issues is that a severely divided Middle East would no longer benefit the US since it must reduce its direct presence and dealings with issues in the region. Therefore, the American agents must learn to coexist with one another. Not to only coexist but to also exclude Britain while America pivots towards the Pacific so nothing goes wrong in terms of American policies being implemented in the region. Hence, conditions must take place to push Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the same direction not the opposite so they can work together, and the Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi made this possible.

Lastly, the Houthi attacks and Biden’s failure to assure the Gulf states that the Houthis would be readied as an international terrorist organisation will convince the opposition in the region towards the JCPOA to accept its revival. Because for America, the revival is important, especially now more than ever since the Ukrainian crisis can cause a further decrease in oil and gas cuts from Russia, henceforth, creating a European catastrophe which America would not be able to deal with. Therefore, the revival of the JCPOA 2.0 can allow Iran to export huge amounts of energy to European countries and likewise invite European companies for investment in Iran. Although Iran cannot replace Russia, but it would be able to stop a catastrophic energy crisis in Europe which helps America.

In conclusion, this attack is to achieve multiple objectives. First, it is to make KSA and UAE to work together in Yemen so America can in return win Yemen and isolate Britain. Second, it is to unite the Gulf States and the Jewish entity towards the Iranian threat. America’s intention is to install defeatism in these states where they have no choice to accept Iran’s presence and the nuclear deal’s revival. In other words, the few barks left in these puppets against their master would also fade away. And the fear would unite them towards a common stance, which helps Biden to speed the process of the JCPOA 2.0. Lastly, this will help Europe as they face a looming threat of a near energy crisis where the deal will allow Iran to open its markets to Europe where it can export oil to the European allies of America in exchange for Iran reducing it Uranium enrichment. Though Iran will not replace Russia’s hold on Europe when it comes to energy, but it will still help America prevent catastrophe from occurring in Europe where America could end up losing its influence on continental Europe in significant proportions. It is not the first time Iran has come in aid of America’s policies concerning Europe. In 2007, America utilised Iran’s malicious behaviour to install missiles in Poland when they were meant for Russia because geographically Poland acts as corridor for invasion from both sides- Germany from West of Poland and Russia from East of Poland- and America used this opportunity to further encircle Russia where it used Iran’s activities as a pretext. When it is America that controls most of Iran’s actions, now it is Iran aiding the US via its Shiite militia the Houthis.

It is a shame that our rulers are constantly coming to aid the Kaffir West in the times of crisis. If Iran were truly fighting for the sake of Islam and to raise banner of Islam high, Iran would utilise its militias in Yemen and across the Middle East to create a havoc for America and its dagger in the heart of the Muslim world- the Jewish entity. But instead, they choose to help America with its scheme regards the region in return for economic benefits to which most of Iranian population never even get to taste its fruits.

Muhammed Mustafa