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UAE says it will 'retaliate hard' after Houthi attack on Saudi pipeline

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition battling Yemen's Houthi rebels [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 May, 2019

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The UAE has warned that a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen will "retaliate hard" over attacks on civilian targets after the Houthis' drone attack on a Saudi pipeline.
The United Arab Emirates has warned that a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen will "retaliate hard" over attacks on civilian targets after the Houthis' drone attack on a Saudi pipeline.

Anwar Gargash, the UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs, made the comment Wednesday while speaking to journalists in Dubai amid tensions between the United States and Iran.

"We will also retaliate and retaliate hard when we see the Houthis hit civilian targets within Saudi Arabia," Gargash said.

Gargash said that the UAE believed a United Nations-brokered agreement on the port city of Hodeida represented the best option for finding a political solution to the years-long war.

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for drone attacks on Tuesday that shut down a key Saudi oil pipeline.

The rebels said the attack was in response to "crimes" committed by Saudi Arabia and its allies during more than four years of war in support of the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition battling the Yemeni rebels but pursues its own agenda in war-torn Yemen, backing separatists who want to set up an independent state in southern Yemen.

The drone attack came after the mysterious sabotage at the weekend of four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, in the UAE's port of Fujairah.

Gargash said the UAE was "very committed to de-escalation" after the sabotage of the ships.

He said that a multi-national investigation into the sabotage attacks would be concluded within days, adding: "We are not going to jump the gun."

However, he blamed "Iranian behaviour" for tensions in the Gulf region, where Washington has sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers in response to unspecified Iranian threats against US interests.

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