EU condemns threats by Yemen’s Houthis to bomb Saudi Arabia, UAE
The European Union has condemned threats by Yemen’s Houthi rebels to bomb targets in the UAE and Saudi Arabia following the breakdown of a six-month truce with forces loyal to the internationally recognised government.
In a statement published on Tuesday, the EU delegation to Yemen said it was "gravely concerned by Houthis' unacceptable threats to attack oil companies and commercial shipping operating in neighbouring countries".
Last Sunday, the Houthis hinted they could again target oil installations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, warning companies operating in the two countries to leave. The Iran-backed rebel group has previously launched rockets at the oil facilities before.
Saudi Arabia has militarily backed Yemen’s internationally recognised government in the country's brutal war, which began in 2014. The UAE also officially backs the government but has in addition given support to southern separatist militias which have challenged the government’s authority.
The conflict began after the Iran-backed Houthis seized control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and Yemen’s situation has been described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by the UN.
Bombing by the Saudi-led coalition which intervened in Yemen has killed scores of civilians, and the Houthis are also accused of numerous human rights abuses.
While a truce was reached last April, the Houthi rebels have refused to renew it, officially resuming attacks on government positions on 2 October. Yemen's internationally-recognised government previously said it would respond positively to efforts to extend the truce.
The EU statement called on the Houthis to "moderate their demands and to engage constructively" with the UN’s envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, who has sought to renew the truce.
The Yemeni government’s army said on Monday that the Houthis had killed five of their soldiers and injured 34 during the last days of the truce.