DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates has banned recreational drone flying after Yemeni Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a drone attack on an oil facility and a major airport in the country that left several dead.
Drone enthusiasts and other operators of light electric aircraft were exposing themselves to “legal liabilities” if they flew the devices from Saturday, the Interior Ministry said. Exemptions could be granted to companies that wanted to take aerial images.
A rare drone and missile attack on the country’s capital, Abu Dhabi, set several fuel trucks on fire and killed three people last week.
The aggression was claimed by the Houthis, who control the Yemeni capital and have been waging a bloody war for years with a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which includes the Emirates. Although the UAE has withdrawn much of its troops from the stalled conflict, it remains a key player and supports local militias in the country.
The Emirates claims the Houthis used bomb-laden drones and ballistic and cruise missiles in the attack, adding that the country had intercepted some of the projectiles. In response to the attack, the Saudi coalition has stepped up attacks on rebel-held areas in Yemen over the past week.
Government regulations in the UAE already restrict the use of drones in residential areas and around airports. Users normally need a certificate from the civil aviation authorities.