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The Arab Coalition forces in Yemen. Image Credit:

Abu Dhabi: The UAE and Saudi Arabia on Monday pledged to keep their alliance fighting Yemen’s Iran-aligned Al Houthi militants and support for the internationally recognised government there.

In a joint statement issued by the foreign ministries of both countries, they denounced anti- UAE “ distortion campaigns" that have claimed the UAE support for Yemeni Southern Transitional Council forces' seizure of state institutions in the southern city of Aden, the seat of the government.

“The governments of the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, based on their responsibilities in the alliance supporting legitimacy in Yemen to save Yemen and its people from the coup of the Iran-supported Al Houthi militia, emphasise the continuation of all their political, military, relief and development efforts with the participation of the coalition’s countries,” the statement said.

The two countries also called on the Yemeni sides to cooperate with a UAE-Saudi committee set up by the alliance to stabilize a ceasefire in Yemen after recent fighting between the government and separatists in the southern cities of Aden, Abyan and Ataq.

The statement came after the alliance said it had intercepted drones and ballistic missiles fired by Al Houthis targeting the Saudi territory.

The alliance intervened in Yemen in 2015 in response to a call from the government as Al Houthis advanced on Aden after the extremists overran the capital Sana’a and other parts of the impoverished country.

Joint committee

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led Coalition said a joint committee was formed between Saudi Arabia and the UAE to stabilize a ceasefire in the Yemeni provinces of Shabwah and Abyan, state TV and state news agency said on Monday.

Coalition spokesman Turki Al Maliki as saying early on Monday that the committee would start working as early as Monday.

The development comes after Coalition forces intercepted and downed two Al Houthi drones launched toward the kingdom from Yemen early on Monday.

Al Houthi missiles intercepted

Late Sunday, the Coalition also intercepted and destroyed six ballistic missiles fired by the Iran-aligned group targeting civilians in Jizan.

The attacks are part of an escalation of cross-border assaults in the four-year-old conflict between the Houthis and coalition forces.

The Houthis, who control the capital Sana’a, have in the past few months stepped up their attacks against targets in the kingdom. In response, the coalition has targeted military sites belonging to the group, especially around Sana’a.

“The Houthi militias continued targeting of civilians through drones and ballistic missiles ...is an act of aggression and terrorism and a war crime according to international human law,” Al Malki said in a statement.

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