Police in Abu Dhabi say an explosion has occurred on three oil tankers in the Al-Mussaffah industrial area today in a suspected drone attack by Yemen’s Houthi movement. A separate fire has also broken out at a new extension of the Abu Dhabi International Airport, which has been described as “minor”.
The police said preliminary investigations suggested that small flying objects infiltrated the two areas and may have caused the explosion and ensuing fires. No significant damage or casualties were reported.
Yemen’s Houthi-aligned military has claimed responsibility for the attack, with spokesperson Brigadier General Yahya Saree announcing on Twitter that a statement will be made in the coming hours.
بيان مهم للقوات المسلحة للإعلان عن عملية عسكرية نوعية في العمق الإماراتي خلال الساعات القادمة.
— العميد يحيى سريع (@army21ye) January 17, 2022
The Houthis have previously threatened to target the UAE, which is a joint partner in the Saudi-led coalition in the war against Yemen. The UAE currently supports the Southern Transitional Council and is seen as an occupying force on the Yemeni island of Socotra.
There have also been intensified clashes between the Houthi forces and UAE-backed mercenaries in the contested provinces of Marib and Shabwah. “The armed forces affirm their full readiness to defend the country and its people and to confront the great escalation of the Emirati enemy until victory is achieved,” Saree stated on Twitter earlier last week. “The consequences of this Emirati escalation will be great and they must bear consequences of their escalation.”
Most recently, on Saturday the Houthi-affiliatd Al-Masirah reported that “Observers confirm that the continuation of the Emirati escalation will have a great impact on Abu Dhabi, in the form of material, human, and economic losses; losses that will be inflicted upon the Emirati enemy inside Yemen and deep into [the UAE’s] own geographical depth, which is full of oil installations,” the paper noted.
“The fragile glass towers are easy to reach,” it added.