Drone attack: Houthi rebels attack Abu Dhabi

As of: 01/17/2022 6:01 p.m

At least three people have been killed in a suspected drone strike by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in Abu Dhabi. Oil tanks exploded on an industrial site and fire broke out at the airport.

By Björn Blaschke, ARD Studio Cairo

Three dead, six injured – presumed victims of an attack from Yemen: Houthi rebels apparently attacked Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Three tanker trucks caught fire near an oil facility; A fire broke out in a spur of Abu Dhabi International Airport. When asked by a reporter about the attack, UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said the investigation was ongoing.

Bjorn Blaschke
ARD-Studio Kairo

Houthi rebels claim attack

It’s best to wait for more information from the police, al-Mazrouei said. So far, police say their preliminary investigations have revealed parts of small flying objects – possibly drones – that could have caused the explosion and fire.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed they were behind an attack on the United Arab Emirates but gave no details. In any case, Mohamed al-Bukheiti, a member of the Houthi politburo, expects further tensions to arise: “We expect the Emirates to escalate and, if necessary, we will counteract it with escalation.” The question is: Who will be the injured party in the end? “The Emirates had a strategy for their withdrawal from Yemen. And we had guaranteed them a safe exit. However, they have returned to escalation,” said al-Bukheiti.

Saudi military coalition against Houthi rebels

A deduction from the war that has been raging in Yemen for a long time. The Houthi rebels are demanding more political participation. They accuse the internationally recognized President of Yemen, Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi, of corruption and mismanagement. In 2014, the Houthis took the capital Sanaa and threatened to overrun the strategically important city of Aden in the south of the country.

As a result, Saudi Arabia forged a military coalition in 2015. The Emirates also belong to it. On the side of the Yemeni president, the coalition is fighting the Houthis, who in turn are supported by Iran. The Houthis launch cross-border missile and drone attacks in the direction of Saudi Arabia almost every week: on airports, oil facilities and pipelines.

2019 so far last attack on Emirates

The Houthis have also used booby-trapped boats to attack key shipping routes. Although there have been civilian deaths in some of these attacks in Saudi Arabia, the overwhelming number of civilian deaths is in Yemen. The war has claimed more than 130,000 lives there – both civilians and combatants. And the war exacerbated a long-standing famine. United Nations peace plans failed again and again.

The Emirates were rarely targeted by the Houthis – most recently in 2019. Abu Dhabi then reduced the military presence in Yemen and largely withdrew its own personnel. But: The emirate continues to finance Yemeni armed forces and militias – including units involved in current fighting.

attack in retaliation

Fayez al-Dueiri, a Jordanian military expert, told the news channel Al Jazeera: “I see a connection to the military operations in Shabwa and Harib in Yemen, in which the units are involved are involved who are loyal to the Emirates. That’s 17 brigades, which have about 50,000 fighters.”

These would have achieved victories against the Houthis and cornered them. “That’s probably why the Houthis want to send a message to the Emirates to stop supporting these entities,” al-Dueiri said.

How the Emirates will react to the attack from Yemen is unclear. However, it can hardly remain unanswered in the logic of warlords.

Houthi rebels in Yemen attack Abu Dhabi

Bjorn Blaschke. ARD Cairo, 17.1.2022 5:17 p.m


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