Drone assault in Abu Dhabi kills 3, wounds 6

A drone assault claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels concentrating on a key oil facility in Abu Dhabi killed three individuals on Monday and sparked a hearth at Abu Dhabi’s worldwide airport.

Police within the United Arab Emirates recognized the lifeless as two Indian nationals and one Pakistani. It didn’t establish the wounded, who police stated suffered minor to reasonable accidents at an industrial space the place Abu Dhabi’s state-owned vitality firm runs a pipeline community and an oil tanker storage facility.

Three transport tankers caught hearth on the facility, whereas one other hearth was sparked at an extension of Abu Dhabi Worldwide Airport.

Senior Emirati diplomat Anwar Gargash blamed the Houthis for the assault, saying on Twitter that Emirati authorities have been dealing with the insurgent group’s “vicious assault on some civilian amenities” within the United Arab Emirates’ capital with “transparency and duty.”

“The tampering of the area’s safety by terrorist militias is simply too weak to have an effect on the steadiness and security during which we stay,” he stated.

In a satellite tv for pc photograph by Planet Labs PBC, Abu Dhabi Worldwide Airport is seen Dec. 8, 2021. The drone assault by Yemen’s Houthi rebels sparked a hearth on the airport on Monday, police stated. (Planet Labs PBC by way of The Related Press)

Declare of duty

Police stated that whereas an investigation was underway, preliminary findings indicated there have been small flying objects, probably belonging to drones, that fell within the two areas and should have brought about the explosion and hearth. They stated there was no vital injury from the incidents, with out providing additional particulars.

Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed they have been behind an assault concentrating on “delicate Emirati amenities.” In a information convention late Monday, army spokesman Yehia Sarea stated, with out providing proof, that the Houthis focused the airports of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in addition to an oil refinery and different websites within the UAE with ballistic missiles and explosive-laden drones.

Though the UAE has largely withdrawn its personal forces from Yemen, it’s nonetheless actively engaged within the battle and helps Yemeni militias combating the Houthis.

The incident comes as Yemen’s years-long battle rages on and as an Emirati-flagged vessel was just lately captured by the Houthis. Yemeni authorities forces, allied and backed by the UAE, have pushed again the rebels in key provinces. Aided by the Emirati-backed Giants Brigades, the federal government forces took again the province of Shabwa earlier this month in a blow to Houthi efforts to finish their management of the complete northern half of Yemen.

Condemnations of the assault on the UAE poured in from the world over.

U.S. Nationwide Safety Adviser Jake Sullivan stated america would work with the UAE and worldwide companions to carry the Houthis accountable, saying “we stand beside our Emirati companions in opposition to all threats to their territory.”

UN Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres denounced the assault as “prohibited by worldwide regulation” and urged all sides “to forestall any escalation amid heightened tensions within the area,” stated spokesman Stephane Dujarric. The UN particular envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg was headed to Riyadh for conferences with Saudi and Yemeni officers on “the latest army uptick” in Yemen, Dujarric added.

Saudi Arabia and a bunch of different Arab states decried the assault as “a cowardly terrorist assault.” The dominion, in addition to the U.S., UN specialists and others have accused Iran of supplying arms to the Houthis.

Years-long battle

The UAE has been at battle in Yemen since early 2015, and was a key member of the Saudi-led coalition that launched assaults in opposition to the Houthis after the group overran the capital of Yemen and ousted the internationally backed authorities from energy.

The Houthis have come below strain in latest weeks and are struggling heavy losses as Yemeni forces, allied and backed by the UAE, have pushed again the rebels in key southern and central provinces of the nation, dashing Houthi efforts to finish their management of the complete northern half of Yemen.

Yemen’s government-aligned forces reclaimed the complete southern province of Shabwa from the Houthis earlier this month and made advances in close by Marib province. They have been aided by the UAE-backed Giants Brigades and had assist from Saudi airstrikes.

The airport hearth in Abu Dhabi was described by police as “minor” and happened at an extension of the worldwide airport that’s nonetheless below development. For years, the airport — house to Etihad Airways — has been constructing its new Midfield Terminal, but it surely was not clear if that was the place the hearth happened.

‘Brief disruption’

Etihad Airways stated “precautionary measures resulted in a brief disruption for a small variety of flights” and that airport operations have returned to regular. Abu Dhabi Airports didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The opposite blast struck three petroleum transport tankers close to a posh for the Abu Dhabi Nationwide Oil Co. within the Musaffah industrial space. The corporate describes it as a pipeline and terminal facility situated some 22 kilometres from the centre of town of Abu Dhabi, the place 36 storage tanks additionally provide transport vehicles carrying gas. It’s also a brief distance from Al-Dhafra Air Base, a army set up that hosts U.S. and French forces.

The situation of the ADNOC facility the place the tankers caught hearth is roughly 1,800 kilometres northeast of Saada, the Houthis’ stronghold in Yemen.

Whereas Emirati troops have been killed within the battle in Yemen, the battle to this point has in a roundabout way affected each day life within the wider UAE, a rustic with an unlimited international workforce that can also be house to Dubai, a glitzy metropolis of sky scrapers and five-star accommodations.

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