Qais al-Khazali (Left), Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (A.A.H.) commander sitting next to the former Iranian IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani, undated. (INU)

January 19, 2022

Iraq’s Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia congratulated Yemen’s Houthi militia for its drone attack on the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi which killed three people, the Shia militia’s leader Qais al-Khazali said.

The UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi was rocked on Monday when drone attacks led to a fire breaking out and resulted in the explosion of three petroleum tankers, killing three people and wounding six others. There was also another fire that broke out in the area of the new construction site of Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Yemen’s Houthi militia claimed responsibility for the attack saying it conducted an operation “deep in the UAE”.

UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed vowed that the attack “will not go unpunished,” and the ministry said the country “reserves the right to respond to those terrorist attacks and sinister criminal escalation.”

“We congratulate the oppressed brothers in Yemen [the Houthis] on the glory and steadfastness. They are defending their country and their people against the unjust aggression of an unjust coalition,” Khazali said, referring to the Arab Coalition – led by Saudi Arabia and of which the UAE is a member – to restore the legitimacy of the internationally recognized government of Yemen.

Asaib Ahl al-Haq was designated as a terrorist organization by the US in 2020, and the State Department said it was heavily funded and trained by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force.

Iraq’s Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Yemen’s Houthis are both Shia militias supported by Iran.

Gulf countries have long accused Tehran of fanning the flames of violence in the Middle East through financial and military support to its network of Shia proxies in the region, specifically in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

Khazali, who is himself designated by the US as a global terrorist, commended what he described as the Houthis’ “tremendous progress in the power of deterrence.”

He criticized the UAE for normalizing ties with Israel back in 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords, and alleged that the UAE interfered in Iraq’s internal affairs.

“We warn the rulers of the UAE… against the consequences of their continuing interference in internal Iraqi affairs and sowing seeds of strife and division among our honorable people,” he said.

Al Arabiya

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.