Following in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates has joined a US-led naval mission purportedly aimed at protecting shipping lanes in Middle Eastern waterways.
The official Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported the UAE’s decision to become a member of the so-called International Maritime Security Construct on Thursday, a day after Riyadh said it was joining the alliance.
It quoted Salem al-Zaabi of the Emirati Foreign Ministry as claiming that Abu Dhabi’s accession to the US-led coalition is meant to “to secure the flow of energy supplies to the global economy and contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security.”
The United States has been trying to persuade its allies to join the international coalition with the declared aim of providing “security” for merchant shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and other strategic shipping lanes in the Middle East.
Washington moved to set up the coalition after pinning the blame on Tehran for two attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman in May and June. Tehran rejected the claims, saying the attacks seemed more to be false-flag operations meant to exert pressure on Iran.
Riyadh and Abu Dhabi — key members of a coalition waging war on Yemen — decided to join the coalition in the wake of the Yemeni army’s massive retaliatory attacks on key Saudi oil facilities.
Saudi Arabia and the US pointed the finger at Tehran again, a claim rejected by Iran and Yemen.
On Wednesday, Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki claimed that the strikes were “unquestionably sponsored by Iran.”
During a press briefing, Maliki showed off wreckage of drones and missiles, which he claimed proved “Iranian” involvement in weekend attacks on two oil facilities.
At another presser in Sana’a, Yemeni army spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree rejected the claims of Iranian role in the drone raids, which he described as “an outstanding example of the military prowess.”
Saree also sternly warned the UAE against keeping up its acts of aggression against the Yemeni nation.
“To the Emirati regime we say only one operation (of ours) would cost you dearly,” he said. “Today and for the first time we announce that we have dozens of targets within our range in the UAE, some are in Abu Dhabi and can be attacked at any time.”