17th January, 2022
A drone attack claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels killed three people at a key oil facility in Abu Dhabi. It also sparked a fire at the international airport.
Emirati police identified the dead as two Indian nationals and one Pakistani.
Several people were also wounded at an industrial area where Abu Dhabi’s state-owned energy company runs a pipeline network and an oil tanker storage facility.
The police said they suffered minor to moderate injuries.
Senior Emirati diplomat Anwar Gargash blamed the Houthis for the attack, saying on Twitter that Emirati authorities were handling the rebel group’s “vicious attack on some civilian facilities” in the UAE’s capital with “transparency and responsibility.”
“The tampering of the region’s security by terrorist militias is too weak to affect the stability and safety in which we live,” he tweeted.
Three transport tankers caught fire at the oil facility, while another fire was sparked at an extension of Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Police said an investigation was underway and that preliminary findings indicate there were small flying objects, possibly belonging to drones, that fell in the two areas and may have caused the explosion and fire. They said there was no significant damage from the incidents, without offering further details.
Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed they were behind an attack targeting the United Arab Emirates on Monday, but they did not offer details.
Although the UAE has largely withdrawn its own forces from the war in Yemen, it is actively engaged in the conflict and supports Yemeni militias fighting the Houthis.
The incident comes as the Houthis face pressure and are suffering heavy losses.
Yemeni forces, allied and backed by the UAE, have pushed back the rebels in key southern and central provinces, dashing Houthi efforts to complete their control of the entire northern half of Yemen.
Yemen’s government-aligned forces reclaimed the entire southern province of Shabwa from the Houthis earlier this month and made advances in nearby Marib province. They were aided by the UAE-backed Giants Brigades and had help from Saudi airstrikes.
The UAE was a key member of the Saudi-led coalition that has waged war against the Houthis since 2015, trying to restore the internationally backed government, ousted by the rebels the previous year.