Yemen follows Gulf backers, cuts ties with Qatar
Yemen's internationally recognised government cut diplomatic relations with Qatar on Monday, following in the footsteps of its Gulf backers and allies who severed ties with Doha in an unprecedented escalation in regional tensions just hours earlier.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with Egypt, announced they were cutting diplomatic links with Doha after accusing it of supporting extremism.
In a statement published by the Saudi-backed government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, Yemen said it supported the decision to expel Qatar from the Saudi-led Arab coalition that has been fighting Houthi rebels since March 2015.
Authorities accused Doha of "dealing with the insurgent militias and supporting extremist groups in Yemen, which contradicts the aims agreed upon by states supporting Yemen's legitimate government", the statement said.
Qatar's air force and troops have so far participated in the two-year war alongside Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Arab nations. The war has left more than 10,000 dead and created a nationwide famine, according to the UN.
The news comes a day after Qatar said that six of its soldiers had been wounded in Yemen "while conducting their duties within the Qatari contingent defending the southern borders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia".
Qatari authorities responded to the escalations on Monday, expressing "great surprise" over what it described as the recent unjustified developments in the region.
In a statement published by Qatar's foreign ministry, authorities said the decision, which it claims was clearly pre-meditated, "is based on baseless fabricated claims".
"Qatar has been the target of a systematic incitement campaign that promoted outright lies, which indicates that there was a prior intent to harm the state," the statement said.
"Qatar is also dedicated to its obligation in the war on terrorism and extremism. It is clear that the media campaign against Qatar has failed, especially in Gulf nations, which explains this escalation," it said, adding, "the fabrication" of a media crisis used two weeks ago to increase pressure against, it is evidence that there are "no legitimate causes to take the decision to cut ties".
"The goal is clear, enforcing guardianship over our country which is a blatant violation of our sovereignty, which is completely unacceptable. The statement released by the three GCC nations makes it clear that the relentless fabricated media campaign against Qatar was pre-planned."
Agencies contributed to this report.