Thursday (February 3rd): MBZ vs Houthi Rebels

Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ)

Name? Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ)

Westphalian identity? Emirati

Age? 60

Why is he in the news? In the past week, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has experienced several attacks on civilian sites which the Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for. These come in response to Crown Prince MBZ’s approval of Emirati-backed groups pushing into Houthi territory in Yemen in support of the Saudi-led coalition supporting the Yemeni government.

Why do we care? These attacks mark a new chapter in the ongoing civil war in Yemen, which to be honest, is nothing but a proxy war between the two regional powers Iran and Saudi Arabia. This was the first time in over three years that the Houthis have attacked the UAE, which is a punishment by Iran of MBZ for increased involvement in Yemen. Take into account that the UAE is not only under attack from the Houthi in the south but also from an Iraqi-based but Iran-controlled group called True Promise Brigades in the north. 

Why should you care? The exact same reason we gave you last year! Around 80% of the Yemeni population depends on humanitarian aid and is at the edge of starvation because of a regional proxy war. To use the same quote from a Yemeni woman as last year “Why are they (Saudis) doing this? Because of Iran? Iran has its own country, fight them there!” You should care 10/10

Who else cares? US President Joe Biden. Because he had warned MBZ over increasing his involvement in Yemen. However, despite warning others not to get involved in conflicts, Biden ordered a raid killing the leader of ISIS in Syria … which also killed six children and four women…

Any further comments? A lot of the attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE are exercised with civilian drones that are turned into lethal weapons. This trend in interstate warfare is adding pressure on MBZ to increase defence budget spending.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator