Dr. Salem Al Ketbi
Dr. Salem Al KetbiCourtesy

The Houthi terrorist group recently made false claims to justify its criminal attacks on civilian facilities in the UAE. Now it is the Iraqi Alwiyat Al Waad Al Haq (Firm Promise Brigades) that have targeted the UAE. In a statement published on Telegram, the terrorist group had announced that it would launch an attack on the UAE with four drones and threatened that “the next attacks will be even worse and more painful for the UAE.”

What is currently going on, whether by means of the Houthist militia or its allies in Iraq, or by Lebanese or Iraqi Hezbollah, clearly confirms that the chaos in the Middle East has reached a new level. The international community is reluctant to criminalize militancy, which contributes to the expansion of the threat and the accumulation of arsenals in states that live in a security vacuum, becoming new havens for terrorism of all kinds.

The recent attacks by the Iraqi terrorist group on the UAE have several indications. The Iraqi group claimed responsibility for the recent attack on four drones shot down by the UAE.

And regardless of whether this allegation is true or if it is some sort of role assignment and an attempt to destabilize and bolster the capabilities of these militias operating in the region, there is definitely coordination, cooperation, and knowledge sharing among the various sectarian arms that are funded and sponsored by known actors. It is not an Emirati role in Yemen, as some like to claim.

It is the implementation of a comprehensive ideological program, the outlines and objectives of which may not yet be fully understood. I pointed out in an article that the so-called “Axis of Resistance” and its militias are constantly striving to destroy the project of coexistence and the spread of peace and stability in the Middle East region.

Every day this coexistence gains ground, weakening the ability of this ill-fated axis to gain new supporters. Meanwhile, however, these militias have caused chaos and stability in several countries, especially in Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.

The announcement of the aforementioned brigades to deploy drones in the UAE also raises legitimate questions.

Why are these terror militias targeting the UAE? Is this statement not a reminder of the 2019 attack on Saudi Aramco facilities, the origin of which was speculative at the time — that is, whether the drones were launched from Yemen or Iraq?

Does their claim of responsibility mean that there is a far-reaching plan that these militias have begun to implement with full cooperation, to ignite a major regional conflict and engage the GCC states in engineered crises aimed at their security and stability? Will the silence and inability of the international community to confront these militias continue?

When will the major powers realize that their divisions and disagreements over the situation in the Middle East will not secure the strategic interests of any of them, but instead will be a serious loss for all of them, as is the case in Afghanistan and elsewhere?

We are not surprised by the terrorist militias claiming responsibility for the recent failed attack in the UAE. Because it is clear to us that this is all just proxy pressure in favor of a known actor. According to published reports, the “brigades” that claimed responsibility for the failed attack on the UAE are an Iraqi group under the command of the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. This group maintains close ties to similar sectarian arms in Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq.

The group is affiliated with Iraqi Hezbollah brigades led by Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis before he and Qassem Soleimani were killed in a US airstrike. But is there any truth about these terror militias beyond their names?

Many seem to be fictitious militias, to distract from the main perpetrator. It is difficult to verify the authenticity of their claims and determine that these terrorist organizations are actually on the ground. But there is certainly a main function behind them. There are known actors targeting the security and stability of the UAE and the entire region.

It is now important for the UAE to strengthen military and defense cooperation with friendly and allied countries. The threat is growing and changing and must be countered with force and determination through strong alliances and partnerships.

However, it is also important that all in our region and around the world recognize that the success of these militias in advancing their agenda and terrorist ideology will be a failure for the entire world.

No one will be safe from their impact, as they pose a greater threat than Daesh and Al Qaeda - they have greater and more effective weapons capabilities. If an unhealthy alliance is formed between the various terrorist organizations, despite their different goals, it is possible that they will all pose real security problems, even if to a small degree, in our region and around the world.

Dr. Salem AlKetbiis a UAE political analyst and former Federal National Council candidate