Emirates Leaks

Emirates Leaks: US sanctions expose the UAE’s financing of the Yemeni Houthi group

Sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department exposed the UAE’s funding to the Yemeni Houthi group in multiple ways and mechanisms within Abu Dhabi’s shared goal to destroy Yemen and push it to partition.

The US Treasury imposed sanctions on what it described as members of a smuggling network that collects millions of dollars to the Houthi group.

The ministry explained that the targeted network collects tens of millions of dollars in proceeds from the sale of commodities such as Iranian oil.

A large amount of the money is channelled through complex networks of intermediaries and money exchange centres in multiple countries for the Houthis.

The sanctions included two people from Yemen, one from the UAE, one from Somalia and another with Indian citizenship, and entities based in Dubai, Istanbul and Sana’a under the control of the Houthi group.

Recently, a research study monitored the common goals of the UAE and the Houthi group in light of the secret alliance between the two sides to divide Yemen.

The Abaad Center for Studies and Research in Yemen said that the UAE has been working for years to undermine the authorities of the internationally recognized legitimate leader.

The Center warned that the UAE supported armed militias outside the scope of the legitimate authority in Yemen and took control of cities without regard to the rule of law.

It pointed out that the Houthi group fought the legitimate authority and turned against it in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, and worked to expel the legitimate forces. 

The research centre noted that the UAE has been working for years to exclude the Reform Party from any political scene in the future. Thus, it agrees with the Houthis to be replaced by local actors affiliated with it.

UAE military support to the Houthis

The Center pointed out that the Houthis used modern and advanced American weapons in the recent attacks on the oil and gas-rich Marib Governorate northeast of Yemen.

It said that in their recent battles in Marib, the Houthis had used advanced weapon previously owned by the “elite and anti-terrorist” forces, which they took control of after killing their partner in the coup, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in December 2017.

The report entitled “Peace Opportunities in Yemen and Battle of Marib” added that the weapons of the (former) army are not the only Houthi source of weapons and ammunition.

External sources such as Iran, and arms dealers such as Faris Manna, are indispensable sources for the Houthis to obtain the weapons they need.

But these sources, according to the report, find it challenging to deliver armoured vehicles, tanks and other types of heavy machinery to the Houthis. They have established special workshops to convert four-wheel-drive vehicles into armoured vehicles and repair and modernize looted vehicles from Yemeni army camps to overcome these problems.

The Yemeni Center indicated that the Houthis, with the support of Ali Abdullah Saleh, acquired most of the Yemeni army’s weapons.

Among them are the heavy and modern weapons owned by the Republican Guard, the Special Forces and the Counter-Terrorism Forces, the latter trained and supported by the United States of America.

Weak armament of government forces

On the other hand, the forces affiliated with the Yemeni government in Marib suffer from a lack of “armament”, as they possess a small number of heavy machinery. They are considered outdated compared to the weapons of the Houthis.

He confirmed that the Center had obtained an unofficial security report stating that the Houthi group used 30 American armoured vehicles in its last war in Marib.

It Includes 12 armoured vehicles for the anti-terror program, which was suspended after the fall of Sanaa to the Houthis. Other American armoured vehicles registered in the name of the UAE army fell into the hands of the Houthis during the war.

According to the report, most of these American armoured vehicles are of the anti-mine type produced by the company Navistar.

The armoured vehicles were introduced in the manufacturing workshops to intensify their armouring under the supervision of the Houthi Technical Insurance Department, some of which were reviewed in the Seventy Square under the name of (BAAS1) armoured vehicles.

The Center explained that military sources affiliated with the government army confirmed that they faced difficulties targeting this armoured vehicle with anti-armour missiles.

The report pointed out an unwillingness to create a military balance by supporting the Yemeni army to force the Houthis to end the war and start negotiations to achieve sustainable peace.

UAE conspiracies in Yemen

The Center highlighted that the UAE worked during the war years to bring Russia into the Yemeni war and used its influence and relationship to visit the Southern Transitional Council.

The Abaad Center for Studies concluded its report by saying: “It is clear that the peace agreement, Riyadh Agreement, signed between 2019 and 2020, between the Southern Transitional Council and the legitimate government, is on its way to collapse.”

He expected that the next few months would witness the disappearance of the influence of (the legitimate government), and thus weaken the impact of the role of Saudi Arabia as a relevant force in Yemen, unless Riyadh re-ordered its priority in the region, particularly in Yemen, by prioritizing the security and military need over the illusion of economic need; Because the continuation of the latter depends on the former.

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