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Arab bloc seeks Yemen rebel 'terrorist' designation

4. Arab bloc
Vehicles and fighters of UAE-trained troops of the Giants Brigade patrol at the Harib junction of the Bayhan district in Yemen's Shabwa governorate, on January 19, 2022. (Photo: UAE)
CAIRO — The Arab League on Sunday said Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels should be labeled as a "terrorist" group after they attacked the UAE.اضافة اعلان

On January 17 the Huthis claimed a drone and missile attack that struck an oil facility and the airport in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, killing three people and wounding six. 

It was the first deadly assault acknowledged by the UAE inside its borders and claimed by the Yemeni insurgents during a seven-year Saudi-led coalition campaign against the rebels.

The pan-Arab bloc, based in the Egyptian capital, said the Huthis should be designated "as a terrorist organization" after the attack.

In a statement following an extraordinary meeting, it called the strikes "a flagrant violation of international law ... and a real threat to vital civilian installations, energy supplies, and global economic stability," as well as a threat to regional peace and security.

Former US president Donald Trump designated the Huthis as a terrorist movement but the administration of President Joe Biden removed the group in response to fears from aid groups responding to what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Biden's administration has, however, sanctioned individual Huthi figures.

On Friday, the UN Security Council unanimously condemned the Huthi strikes on the UAE, whose UN ambassador denounced "these terrorist attacks." 

The UAE is a non-permanent member of the Council.

The Emirates have had a major role in the Saudi-led coalition defending the internationally-recognized government of Yemen against the Huthis. Although it announced a troop withdrawal from Yemen in 2019, the UAE has remained involved by supporting and training forces there.

On Saturday the coalition denied carrying out an air strike on a prison in Yemen's rebel-held north that aid groups said killed at least 70 people, including migrants, women and children.

The UN has estimated Yemen's conflict would have killed 377,000 people by the end of 2021, both directly and indirectly through hunger and disease.

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