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article imageSaudis furious over UAE airstrikes on its positions in Yemen

By Ken Hanly     Aug 31, 2019 in Politics
The clashes between forces loyal to the Hadi government led by the Saudis and the UAE and Southern Transitional Council (STC) forces brought a correlative war of words as each side accuses the other of causing the clashes.
Saudi reaction to UAE airstrikes
There were considerable casualties resulting from the attacks: Yemen's Defense Ministry said that more than 300 people were killed and wounded by UAE air strikes on Aden and Abyan Province.
The attacks resulted in angry condemnations from Hadi head of the Saudi-supported Yemen government. Because of the security situation and now the occupation of Aden by the STC with the support of the UAE Hadi is living in exile in Saudi Arabia.
In Saudi Arabia
itself the was a flurry of tweets condemning the attacks and even calls to expel the UAE from the coalition supposed united in a campaign against the Houthi rebels who control much of the north of Yemen including its capital Sanaa.
Many are calling the attacks a betrayal of the coalition.
Examples of angry Saudi tweets
One tweet accuses the UAE of having ulterior motives in joining with the Saudis against the Houthis who occupy much of the north including the capital Sanaa. The Houthis have the support of Iran: "The UAE did not go to Yemen to liberate it, but to occupy its islands and ports. It did not treat Yemenis as partners but as followers. It did not support legitimacy but support separatists. It did not guarantee the unity of Yemen but divided it. It has not reinforced security but rather chaos through the assassination of anyone who rejects its crimes."
Another tweet equates the UAE with the role of the Houthis as rebels but in the south: "The UAE plays the role of the Houthis in the south, in line with Iran's agendas, serving it more clearly in Yemen and across the region. The continuation of UAE's alliance means that Iran will continue its war against Yemen." Saudi Arabia consider Iran to blame for the war as it support the Houthis.
The STC and Hadi government have opposed aims
The Saudis supported the Hadi government and aimed to defeat the Houthis and form a unified Yemen government. On the other hand the STC supported by the UAE eventually wanted to form an independent separate government in the south. The present conflict was always present in the arrangement but it is occurring sooner rather than later after the STC with the support of the UAE seized the southern capital Adern together with adjacent territory. The Saudis briefly retook at least part of Aden but this has now been regained by the STC no doubt with the help of the UAE airstrikes.
UAE defends the attack on pro-Saudi forces
The UAE called the pro-Saudi forces it attacked as terrorist militias and defended what they claimed were there precise airstrikes against them. They said they were defending Aden from the militias. Calling the Saudi forces terrorist militias is no doubt meant to portray the attack as against terrorism rather than an ally in a coalition against the Houthis.
The STC has declared its aim to liberate the entire south of Yemen and then declare the independent country of South Yemen as had existed years ago. The Saudis are going to face a difficult situation as even with the support of the UAE and the Saudi forces the Houthis were still holding their own. The new internal conflict within the coalition can only help the Houthi cause.
More about Saudi UAE relations, Yemen War, STC
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