(LibertySociety.com) – On January 17, Houthi fighters from Yemen launched drones against the United Arab Emirates (UAE), starting a fire in Abu Dhabi and killing three people. The attack marks the largest of its kind to date, and the United States may begin to see an impact on the economy and nuclear program negotiations with Iran if it continues. Saudi Arabia and the UAE responded to the Houthi rebel attack by sending air strikes to Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, killing at least 12 people. UAE is one of OPEC’s top oil producers, and the continued bombings are raising worries about new conflicts in the Middle East and the possible effect on the world. Oil prices are also a concern as they rose significantly after the strike.
Houthi Attack Importance
Not only was the Houthi attack the first of its kind in many years, but the strike also showed the extremists’ capability to reach targets at a much farther distance than expected. In February 2021, President Joe Biden removed the Houthi rebel organization from the list of terrorist groups, stating the designation worsened the humanitarian crisis in the area. However, in the wake of the most recent deadly attack, the administration is reconsidering its previous decision at the UAE’s request.
The fact that Houthi rebels can reach and attack the UAE might indicate to the world the area is not as safe as once thought. Unfortunately, security is the zone’s main selling point, and further attacks from the once-designated terror group could shatter that image. Since the region depends on foreign workers traveling there for work, instability could mean devastation for its economy. However, UAE advisor Anwar Gargash stated the Houthis were “too weak” to destabilize the region or affect its security.
Details and Reactions
A spokesman for the Houthi rebels stated the group attacked with five ballistic missiles, but there was no immediate confirmation of the information. A leader for the extremists warned it has “a lot of surprises” in store. Sadly, the escalation in violence will likely put lives in danger and impact oil prices worldwide. The deteriorating stability could also thwart nuclear deal talks between the United States and Iran.
Risk intelligence company analyst Torbjorn Soltvedt said negotiators might be “running out of time,” given recent events. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed the window to succeed in saving the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran is brief. The original agreement lifted sanctions against the Middle Eastern country in exchange for limiting its atomic activities. Without the agreement, Iran’s nuclear capabilities could advance beyond reach.
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