A drone attack on three oil tankers parked in an Abu Dhabi warehouse on Sunday, January 16, claimed three lives and left six injured, according to police sources. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Yemen’s Houthi rebel group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Police identified the victims as two Indian nationals and a Pakistani. In addition, six other unidentified people suffered minor injuries from the fires caused by the explosions.
On Monday, Houthi military spokesman Yahia Sarei said the group had launched an attack deep in the UAE. Without giving further details, he said a statement would be issued shortly, according to The Guardian.
Reports indicate that one of the drones dropped an explosive in a construction sector of Abu Dhabi International Airport and that, although it did not cause significant damage, it did cause delays to Etihad Airways flights.
Police said the other explosion affected three oil tankers near an Abu Dhabi National Oil Co storage facility in the Musaffah area. The neighborhood, located 22 km from Abu Dhabi city center, has a network of pipelines and 36 storage tanks, from which transport trucks carry fuel throughout the country.
The report did not detail the extent of the fuel trucks’ damage.
The Houthis are an ethnic group in Yemen supported by the Iranian regime and have been at war with the UAE since 2015.
In 2015, the Houthis, with the support of the Iranian regime, overthrew the Yemeni government and seized power.
Since then, a Saudi-led and UAE-backed collation has been actively fighting the Houthis’ advance, whereby the group has made the UAE one of its targets for terrorist attacks.
In addition, the UAE also cooperates with U.S. anti-terrorist operations in Yemen, one of the most impoverished countries in the region, due to constant armed conflicts between different ethnicities.
The Houthis have been under pressure in recent weeks. They are suffering heavy losses as Yemeni and allied forces, backed by the UAE, have pushed back the rebel group in the country’s key southern and central provinces.
Earlier this month, Yemeni forces aligned with the government, and helped by the UAE-backed Giants Brigades and aided by Saudi airstrikes, recaptured the entirety of the Houthi-occupied provinces.
Due to the significant difference in capability, the Houthis have resorted to terrorist drone strikes, most likely supplied by the Iranian regime, on UAE and Saudi Arabia. Still, their attacks have been inaccurate and ineffective.
The group has also launched missiles at Saudi airports, oil facilities, and pipelines, in addition to using booby-trapped boats to carry out attacks on crucial shipping lanes.
The Houthi war has caused more than 130,000 civilian and guerrilla deaths and has exacerbated poverty and famine in Yemen.