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Yemen Houthi rebels claim responsibility for deadly drone attack in Abu Dhabi

The Hill
The Hill
 2022-01-17
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© Associated Press/Hani Mohammed

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for Monday’s drone attack in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), that killed three people.

The Houthi rebels directed the drone strike toward a key oil facility, according to The Associated Press. The attack caused a fire at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Two of the deceased individuals were identified by Emirati police as Indian nationals, and the third was Pakistani, according to the AP. A number of other individuals at an industrial area that houses Abu Dhabi’s state-owned energy company were wounded with minor to moderate injuries in the attack.

The firm reportedly oversees a pipeline network in addition to a storage facility for an oil tanker. Three transport tankers located at the oil facility caught fire, according to the AP, while another blaze broke out at an extension of the airport.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack on Monday but did not disclose specifics, according to the AP.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday said the U.S. condemns the “terrorist attack” in Abu Dhabi, adding that the U.S. will work with the UAE and international partners to hold the Houthis accountable.

“Our commitment to the security of the UAE is unwavering and we stand beside our Emirati partners against all threats to their territory,” Sullivan added in a statement.

The drone attack comes as Houthis are under pressure and undergoing losses amid a pushback by Yemeni government forces, the AP noted. Yemeni forces supported by the UAE have clamped back on the Houthis in crucial southern and central regions, which has stymied the rebels’ attempts to take control of the northern portion of Yemen.

Senior Emirati diplomat Anwar Gargash had blamed the Houthis for the attack, according to the AP. He wrote on Twitter that authorities in the UAE were dealing with the Houthis’ “vicious attack on some civilian facilities” in Abu Dhabi with “transparency and responsibility,” according to the news wire.

“The tampering of the region’s security by terrorist militias is too weak to affect the stability and safety in which we live,” he added.

The UAE foreign ministry wrote in a statement that the attack “will not go unpunished,” according to Reuters.

“The UAE reserves the right to respond to these terrorist attacks and criminal escalation,” the foreign ministry added.

Police said they are currently looking into the incident, noting that early findings suggest that small flying objects, potentially associated with drones, fell in the two locations, giving rise to the explosion and fire, according to the AP. They noted, however, that no significant damage was recorded.

This story was updated at 2:40 p.m.

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