Saudis Rail Against UAE ‘Betrayal’ as Yemen Fighting Grows

UAE statement refers to Saudi-backed forces as 'terrorists'

Increasingly open warfare in South Yemen between the Saudi-backed government and the UAE-backed separatists has brought the two Gulf allies into an ugly war of words, and in some cases on Thursday, airstrikes.

The Yemeni government is furious over UAE airstrikes, and that anger is spreading into Saudi Arabia, where there are growing calls on social media to “expel” the UAE from the invasion coalition for what people are describing as a “betrayal.”

Saudi analysts are accusing the UAE of only joining the war to occupy southern ports and islands. That’s actually a long-standing concern, though the Saudis only seem to be noticing that issue now that they are at odds.

UAE officials are being very straightforward about what happened, and are making no bones about defending the attack on the pro-Saudi forces, and backing the separatist groups they’ve long supported.

The UAE Foreign Ministry took things a step farther in their statement, labeling the Saudi-backed forces as “terrorist militias,” and defending their “precise and direct airstrikes” aimed at defending the southern capital of Aden.

The Southern Transitional Council, the UAE-backed force, occupied Aden in early August, and has vowed to liberate the whole south of Yemen to declare it as independent. The Saudi-backed forces have tried to reclaim Aden this week, though ultimately were unsuccessful.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of