Following yesterday’s drone attack in Abu Dhabi, the spokesman of the Houthi-allied Yemen armed forces, Brigadier-General Yahya Saree, has disclosed further details of the operation dubbed “Hurricane Yemen” a day after suggesting that the movement was behind the attack “deep inside the UAE”.
According to Saree, the Musaffah oil refinery was targeted using winged Quds 2 missiles. He noted that Sammad-3 drones “targeted a number of sensitive and important targets” while the extension of Abu Dhabi Airport was hit by four missiles. Zulfiqar ballistic missiles also targeted Dubai Airport.
“We vow to hit more vital targets in the UAE if it continues its military escalation in Yemen,” the spokesman warned.
— Yahya Sare'e (@Yahya_Saree) January 17, 2022
The attack killed three people and injured six, reported the UAE’s WAM news agency. Those injured suffered “mild to moderate” wounds.
The operation represents a significant escalation in the seven-year conflict. The Gulf state is a leading member of the Saudi-led coalition and has thus far evaded direct retaliatory attacks by the Houthi forces, unlike neighbouring Saudi Arabia which has frequently been struck by drone and missile attacks, as well as cross-border raids in the south.
The UAE foreign ministry responded to the attack with a statement condemning “the Houthi terrorist militia’s targeting of civilian areas and facilities on Emirati soil today. This heinous attack will not go unpunished.” The ministry pointed out that the UAE “reserves the right to respond to these terrorist attacks and this vicious criminal escalation.”
Other Arab states have also condemned the attack, as has Yemen’s Al-Islah Party. However, the leader of the Asaib Ahl Al-Haq faction in Iraq congratulated the “the oppressed Yemeni brothers, who defend their country and nation against the cruel aggression of an oppressive coalition that has allowed the shedding of the blood of Yemeni children, women and the elderly.” The UAE rulers have a long history in this aggression, he added. “We congratulate the Yemenis on their amazing progress in deterrent power and revolutionary spirit that they have achieved despite all the pain and suffering caused by the arrogance of evil powers.”
Following the operation, coalition warplanes carried out air strikes on a residential neighbourhood in the capital Sanaa, killing at least 12 civilians, including an entire family; eleven other people were injured. According to Al-Masirah, the strikes launched late last night and earlier today were the deadliest in the capital since 2019. It has also been reported that over 50 air raids have been carried out across the country over the past 24 hours.