Three people were killed and six injured in an explosion involving fuel tankers in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, on Monday. The attack, condemned by the UN and Paris, was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Monday night.
A fuel truck explosion killed three people in Abu Dhabi on Monday, January 17, police in the Emirates capital said. The attack was claimed by Yemeni Houthi rebels who previously announced a “major military operation” in the United Arab Emirates.
“The (Houthis) armed forces conducted a qualitative and successful military operation as part of an operation called Yemen Hurricane,” their spokesman Yahya Saree said in a statement aired on their Al-Massira channel. “Numerous important and sensitive sites and facilities in the Emirates” have been attacked with ballistic missiles and drones, he said.
In response to the attack, which was the first to kill on Emirati soil, the Saudi-led coalition carried out airstrikes on the Houthi-held Yemeni capital, Sana’a, according to the official Saudi press agency.
The explosion of the three tankers happened “near the storage tanks of ADNOC,” the Abu Dhabi oil company, and resulted in the deaths of a Pakistani man and two Indians, according to official agency WAM, which also reports “six light to moderate” injuries “.
There was also a “small fire” in the “new development area of Abu Dhabi International Airport”, from which the authorities reported no injuries.
Meanwhile, Houthi rebels in Yemen said they would make an “important announcement” about a “major military operation in the United Arab Emirates” in the coming hours, according to a tweet from their military porter, Yahya Saree.
“The Forces of Evil of the Houthi Terrorist Militia”
The explosion and the fire were “probably” caused by “drones”, “flying objects” that “fell” on the affected areas, the agency WAM specified, citing the Abu Dhabi police, which initiated “comprehensive investigations”. .
Prior to the allegation, authorities had blamed the Yemeni rebels — as did Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, who denounced a “terrorist” act.
“The forces of evil of the Houthi terrorist militia are behind the incidents in the Emirates,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The UAE is a member of the Saudi-led military coalition that has operated in Yemen since 2015 to support government forces against the Iran-backed Houthi insurgency.
After distancing themselves, they recently returned to the field in Yemen, notably supporting the “Giants” brigade that “liberated” areas captured by the rebels.
The conflict in Yemen has intensified in recent weeks with an increase in coalition raids and ground offensives by its-backed forces.
For their part, the rebels have increased their missile and drone attacks on Saudi territory.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “condemns” the attacks on Abu Dhabi International Airport and the nearby industrial area “claimed” by the Houthis and urges “all parties to exercise maximum restraint,” his spokesman said.
The UN chief urged them to “prevent any escalation in the context of heightened tensions in the region,” added Stéphane Dujarric, recalling that “attacks on civilians or civilian infrastructure are prohibited by international humanitarian law.”
“There is no military solution to the conflict in Yemen,” says Antonio Guterres, who “calls on the parties to join forces constructively and without preconditions” with his envoy “to advance the political process and achieve a comprehensive negotiated settlement to end the conflict in the country.” Yemen,” said the spokesman.
For its part, France “strongly” condemned the attacks alleged by the Yemeni rebels. In a statement, the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian, reiterated his call on the Houthis to “put an immediate end to their destabilizing actions in Yemen and the region and engage constructively in a crisis exit policy process.” this country.
“France reaffirms its mobilization in favor of a cessation of hostilities across the country and a resumption of discussions towards a global political settlement under the aegis of the United Nations,” he added.
Washington, for its part, has pledged to “hold the Yemeni rebels accountable.” “The United States strongly condemns today’s terrorist attack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which killed three innocent civilians,” said Jake Sullivan, White House national security adviser. “The Houthis have claimed responsibility for the attack and we will work with the UAE and our international partners to hold them accountable,” he added in a statement.
“Our commitment to the security of the UAE is unwavering and we stand with our Emirati partners against any threats to their territory,” he said.
Israel, which normalized ties with the Emirates in 2020, also condemned the attack and called on the international community to “act to prevent Iran and its allies from undermining regional security.”
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, in turn, “condemned” the attacks. “I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks against the United Arab Emirates alleged by the Houthis,” she tweeted.
“Drones Launched From Sanaa”
The Emirates, which has presented itself as a haven of peace in the troubled Middle East region, had never been the victim of a known Houthi attack.
The coalition said Monday it had seen a surge in “drone bombs fired by the Houthis from Sanaa International Airport,” according to the official Saudi press agency SPA.
Since taking the capital, Sanaa, in 2014, the rebels have managed to seize large parts of Yemeni territory, particularly in the north. The UAE’s intervention had until recently been focused on southern Yemen.
On January 3, rebels seized the Emirati-flagged boat “Rwabee” off the port of Hodeida in western Yemen, claiming it was carrying military equipment. Abu Dhabi, which asserts the boat was carrying equipment for a Yemeni hospital, denounced a “dangerous escalation” in the Red Sea.
This act of “piracy,” according to the coalition, occurred while the “Giants” brigade was fighting rebels in the Chabwa region. Last week, these loyalist forces enabled the government to retake this oil-rich province after bitter fighting against the Houthis.
Iran, which has troubled relations with the Emirates, is the only country to openly support the rebels while refusing to supply arms, something Saudi Arabia and the United States have accused it of.