UAE Limits U.S. Ability to Launch Air Raids Against Iran Proxies

News Agencies | 2024-02-15 07:32 PM UTC
UAE Limits U.S. Ability to Launch Air Raids Against Iran Proxies


Some Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, are increasingly restricting the U.S. from using military facilities on their soil to launch retaliatory airstrikes on Iranian proxies, according to four people familiar with the issue. The U.S. has long deployed thousands of troops at facilities in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and elsewhere in the Middle East, and the Arab countries' role in supporting U.S. military activities has come under intensified scrutiny since the Israel-Hamas war that erupted in October. The news that some countries are restricting access is based on information from a U.S. official, a congressional aide, and two Western officials.

The United Nations fears that a U.S. decision to return Yemen's Houthis to a list of terrorist groups could harm the war-torn country's economy, mainly commercial imports of essential items, a senior U.N. aid official said on Wednesday. The U.S. move, announced last month, takes effect on Friday and hits the Iran-aligned group with harsh sanctions that aim to cut off funding and weapons the Houthis have used in their stepped-up attacks on ships in vital Red Sea shipping lanes. The U.N. aid operations director, Edem Wosornu, said that while the humanitarian community was concerned about "any potential adverse effects," she noted that Washington had issued exemptions aimed at lessening the impact on civilians in Yemen, where the U.N. says more than 18 million people need help. Wosornu said that transport costs to Yemen's Al-Hudaydah and Aden ports had "significantly increased since November due to the ongoing hostilities."

China and Russia slammed the United States and Britain for illegally attacking military sites used by Yemen's Houthi-led government to launch missiles at commercial vessels in the Red Sea. But during exchanges at the United Nations Security Council, Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood and British Ambassador Barbara Woodward hit back, saying the attacks being carried out by the Yemenis are illegal. Since November, the Yemenis have targeted ships in the Red Sea to demand a ceasefire in Israel's offensive in Gaza. In recent weeks, the U.S. and Britain have launched air strikes targeting Houthi missile arsenals and launch sites for its attacks.


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that a deal on the release of hostages held by Hamas remains possible but "very hard" issues remain to be resolved. Talks involving intelligence chiefs from the U.S., Egypt, Israel and Qatar on a deal that would see a pause in Israel's four-month-old war in Gaza ended without a breakthrough on Tuesday. Asked whether an agreement could be reached on a break in hostilities before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins on March 10, Blinken said an earlier response from Hamas on a potential deal had included some "clear non-starters" but offered the possibility of working toward an agreement.