UAE-Backed Militants Raid Yemen Mosque, Kill and Abduct Worshipers

Forces say slain people refused to be abducted

The United Arab Emirates-backed paramilitary forces in Yemen have long been criticized for their abusive behavior toward civilians, particularly civilians in contested regions. This weekend, that recurring problem centered on Dhale Province.

On Friday, a mosque in Dhale same under attack by the UAE-backed forces, who forced their way in, killed six worshipers, and kidnapped another four. The identities of the captured people have not been confirmed.

The UAE forces, however, issued a statement saying that everyone that they killed were “Houthi rebels who refused to surrender.” None of them have been identified conclusively.

In Yemen’s southwest, Dhale had been under the control of Saudi and UAE-backed forces throughout much of the war, but in recent months, the Houthis have returned to the area and carved out an area which has resisted a number of offensives.

While the Houthis criticized the attack on the mosque, locals were much more vocal about their unhappiness at the religious site being the target of an offensive. This is, however, all-too-common in the Yemen War.

Since the 2015 Saudi invasion, the civilian population across Yemen has been dragged into some of the most dangerous circumstances of any war on the planet. A naval blockade by the Saudis has kept food and medicine scarce, particularly in Houthi territory, and airstrikes have taken a disproportionately high toll on civilian bystanders.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of