Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia draw Arab condemnation

“These terrorist attacks not only target Saudi Arabia, but strike at the pulse of the global economy and energy supplies to the world,” GCC chief Nayef Al-Hajraf said in a statement.
Monday 08/03/2021
A file picture of Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Nayef Falah al-Hajraf. (REUTERS)
A file picture of Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Nayef Falah al-Hajraf. (REUTERS)

SANA’A – The Iran-aligned Houthi attacks on civilian targets and vital installations in Saudi Arabia drew Arab condemnation, with many countries branding the Houthi actions “war crimes” and denouncing the threat they pose to global energy security.

On Sunday evening, Egypt condemned the Houthi attacks against Saudi territory, reiterating its strong rejection and disapproval of such attacks, calling them “despicable and inconsistent with international and humanitarian law.”

Earlier during the day, the Saudi-led coalition said that it destroyed 10 armed drones launched by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement, including at least five fired towards Saudi Arabia, state television channels reported.

A statement released by the Egyptian foreign ministry said the attacks ultimately impede efforts to bring peace to Yemen and undermine the region’s security and stability.

Egypt also expressed its solidarity with the government and people of Saudi Arabia, and its continued support of Saudi counter attacks against the militias.

For its part, the UAE strongly denounced the Houthi militias for attempting to target civilians and civilian structures in Saudi Arabia with explosive drones before they were intercepted by Coalition forces.

In a statement by the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation on Sunday, the UAE said “these systematic terrorist attacks by the Houthi group reflect its blatant disregard for the international community and all international laws and norms.”

The UAE also urged the international community to take “an immediate and decisive stance to stop these repeated acts, which threaten security and stability in the Kingdom,” stressing that the continued threat of these attacks in recent days is a grave escalation that represents new evidence of these militias’ attempts to undermine security and stability in the region.

In the statement, the UAE reaffirmed “its full solidarity with the Kingdom over these terrorist attacks and reiterated its stance against all threats to the Kingdom’s security, stability, and the safety of its citizens and residents.”

The statement emphasised that “the security of the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are indivisible, and that any threat facing the Kingdom is considered by the Emirates a threat to its security and stability.”

The Houthis recently stepped up cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia at a time when the United States and the United Nations are pushing for a ceasefire to revive stalled political negotiations to end the war.

Last Thursday, the movement said it fired a missile at an Aramco petroleum products distribution plant in the Red Sea city of Jeddah which the Houthis had attacked in November 2020, hitting a storage tank. Aramco and Saudi authorities have not commented about Thursday’s claim.

Kuwait on Sunday condemned “in the strongest possible terms” attacks launched by Houthi militias towards “civilian sites” in Saudi Arabia.

These “terrorist crimes” represent a major escalation of violence and put the kingdomآ‘s security at great risk, said a Kuwaiti foreign ministry statement, adding that such transgressions “run counter to international law and humanitarian principles.”

It slammed the international community‘s “silence” in the face of these “despicable actions,” saying Kuwait “stands in solidarity with Saudi Arabia” and supports all the measures taken by Riyadh to keep its security and stability intact.

Bahrain also strongly condemned “the continuing attempts of the Iran-backed terrorist Houthi militias to deliberately and systematically target a number of civilian areas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the use of explosive-laden drones.”

In a statement, Bahrain’s ministry of foreign affairs praised the competence and vigilance of the coalition forces in supporting legitimacy in Yemen, citing their ability to intercept and shoot down the drones.

It renewed Bahrain’s support for Saudi Arabia against all attempts to undermine its security, stability and territorial integrity, calling on the international community to assume its responsibilities in condemning the criminal acts of the Houthis, which constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and a clear threat to the security and stability of the region.

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri wrote on Twitter that the recent Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia “constitute a persistent assault on the stability of the region.”

He added that “solidarity with Saudi Arabia, and its leadership is a national responsibility, which we emphasise, regardless of the challenges.”

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also condemned the Houthi attacks on Sunday.

“These terrorist attacks not only target Saudi Arabia, but strike at the pulse of the global economy and energy supplies to the world,” GCC chief Nayef al-Hajraf said in a statement.

He underlined the six-nation bloc’s “unwavering support” for all the measures Riyadh has taken to protect its national interests, which support global energy security and maritime trade operations.