Attacks on the UAE from Yemen Will Drive It Closer to Israel

If oil exports are taken out of the equation, the United Arab Emirates are Iran’s largest trading partner. And despite the strategic tensions between the two nations, diplomatic channels have remained open. Yet recent drone and missile attacks on the UAE by Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen make clear that diplomacy is unlikely to bear much fruit. Hussain Abdul-Hussain and David May explain how these circumstances will strengthen the Abraham Accords:

Houthi attacks on the United Arab Emirates proved what many have known for a long time, that Arab solidarity is an imaginary concept. In Beirut, Hizballah cheered on the strikes. In Gaza, the Hamas politburo member Mahmoud al-Zahar said the attacks were as blessed as “liberating Palestine from the Israeli occupation.” And in Baghdad, the pro-Iran group Alwiyat al-Waad al-Haq gave the Houthis a hand by launching explosive drones at Abu Dhabi.

When it came to the attacks on the UAE, the strongest regional displays of support came from Israel. Israeli gestures of solidarity helped solidify Emirati-Israeli ties, which have been growing since the declaration of peace between them in the Abraham Accords of 2020.

Despite security warnings, [Israel’s President Isaac] Herzog traveled to the UAE in late January, becoming the first Israeli president to visit the country. Israeli defense officials reportedly visited the UAE to discuss defense and intelligence assistance in the wake of the Houthi attacks. And Israel’s Channel 13 reported that Israel is planning to advance the sale of missile-defense systems, possibly including Israel’s famed Iron Dome, to the UAE. For his part, Prime Minister Bennett “ordered the Israeli security establishment to provide their counterparts in the UAE with any assistance” to prevent future attacks.

The bonds enhanced during this crisis may lead to mutual recognition in the UAE and Israel that the two countries do not just face shared threats but may have a shared destiny.

Read more at Al Arabiya

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israeli Security, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy