By Jim Kouri
The 33-year-old son of the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, did not die from a heart attack as reported over the weekend, claims some Middle East press reports. According to Arab-English news sources, the young man was killed by Yemeni terrorists who launched an attack in Ma’rib province. A growing number of Middle East news outlets are now rejecting the claims that Sheikh Rashid has died of heart attack.
According to news sources in the region, the royal family member and a number of other United Arab Emirates officers were ambushed and killed by Yemeni forces’ in the UAE’s Ma’rib province. The attack included the use of a Russian-made Katyusha rocket, considered a relic of the cold war.
The original news reports about Rashid dying as the result of a heart attack were designed to deceive the UAE’s citizens who have been protesting and demanding the UAE government to bring home their troops from Yemen, news sources claim. All of the UAE news websites had claimed that Sheikh Rashid had died from a massive heart attack. Sheikh Rashid was said to be the eldest son of Sheikh Mohammed. The departed Rashid’s older brother Sheikh Hamdan is the Crown Prince of Dubai.
A Saudi-led coalition counterterrorism force has been fighting Yemen’s Islamist groups including the Iranian-backed Houthi Network. Their 180-day military involvement is meant to restore power to Yemen’s President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a close ally of Saudi royal family. The Iranians and the other Islamist groups claim that the Saudi-led attacks have killed thousands of Yemenis, including women and children.
Hadi resigned from office in January after being threatened by the country’s radical Islamists. Although the Saudi-led coalition says they are only bombing the positions of Islamist fighters, Iranians claim the Saudi Arabian warplanes are destroying residential areas and killing innocent civilians. According to a report published on September 19 by the Yemen’s Civil Coalition NGO: “6,091 Yemenis, including 3,006 women and children have been killed in six months of Saudi Arabian airstrikes.” The report also stated that more than 13,500 people have also been wounded.