UAE to exercise zero tolerance against Al Qaeda, Daesh
Air strikes on Wednesday and Thursday were to send a message that no terror group will be spared in Yemen, the UAE said.
The UAE has made clear that there can be no compromise against terrorism in Yemen as Daesh claimed an attack on Friday which killed three local troops. Air strikes against targets in Aden will ensure Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Daesh are not allowed to recoup as the Arab Coalition continues it campaign against the Houthis, the UAE said.
There are concerns that Al Qaeda has used the recent fighting in Aden to strike coalition forces using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). UAE air strikes on Wednesday and Thursday were to send a message that no terror group will be spared in Yemen, the UAE said.
"The operation was carried out in accordance with the coalition's rules of engagement and applicable principles of international law, including the Geneva Convention," said the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement. The operation came in response to armed groups affiliated with terrorist militias targeting coalition forces at Aden airport.
"In recent weeks, terror activity in Yemen has escalated threatening coalition counter-terror successes and undermining efforts to combat Al Qaeda and the Iran-backed Houthis, both of which seek to benefit from the spread of instability," the UAE foreign ministry said.
The UAE said it is concerned by the proliferation of terror in Yemen. On Thursday, the Southern Transitional Council regained control of Aden, forcing government troops who had entered the southern port city to withdraw.
The operation "was based on confirmed field intelligence that the militias prepared to target the coalition forces - a development which required a preemptive operation to avert any military threat", it added.
In further violence in the port city on Friday, a suicide bombing killed three separatist fighters, and a military chief survived a roadside bomb that killed five of his guards, security sources said.
The attack has been blamed on Daesh.
The group, experts say, has been rebuilding and reorganising its networks across the world. It has forged alliances with terrorist groups in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
It has created a global movement consisting of numerous franchises with a capacity to stage significant terror attacks. Al-Qaeda's branches include AQIM in the Maghreb, AQAP in Yemen, AQIS in South Asia, JNIM in Mali and, Al Shabab in Somalia and East Africa. Another group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in Syria, is also considered to be associated with Al Qaeda.
Fighting over the past four years has already claimed tens of thousands of lives and sparked what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
"The situation is very fragile. Families are again trapped in their homes by fighting, unable to secure food and reach medical care," the UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Lise Grande, said of the recent battle for the south.
On August 1, separate attacks in Aden by Al Qaeda and Houthi rebels killed 49 people, mostly separatist fighters from the Southern Transitional Council.
The STC accused the government of complicity in the attacks, sparking the showdown between the two sides.
The UAE, which has a zero tolerance policy towards Islamists, believes that part of the Yemen army is made up of militants from Al Islah, a party considered close to the Muslim Brotherhood.