Three people were killed in Abu Dhabi on Monday when several fuel tanks exploded in a possible drone strike, according to state media and local authorities in the UAE.
The Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen, which has fought for years with an Saudi-led military coalition that includes the United Arab Emirates, claimed to have launched a military operation against the UAE, but gave some additional details. .
Huthi in Yemen often target neighboring Saudi Arabia with drone strikes, including one on Saudi oil facilities in 2019 that profoundly disrupted oil exports to the country, and also claim to have hit the UAE several times, though the UAE have consistently denied this.
A small fire also broke out at Abu Dhabi International Airport, raising the possibility that he too was the target of a drone strike. Abu Dhabi police said there were indications that small flying objects, possibly belonging to drones, caused the fires, one of which led to the explosion of three oil tankers in an industrial neighborhood southwest of Abu Dhabi near storage tanks for Abu Dhabi. . National Oil Company.
Emirati authorities did not immediately blame the group for the attacks.
The attack came amid an escalation of tensions between the Houthis and Saudi-led forces in Yemen, which has changed the momentum of the wars after months of Houthi gains. Ongoing offensives have complicated international efforts to mediate ceasefire negotiations to end the war, which has sparked what aid groups call the world’s biggest humanitarian disaster.
Days ago, UAE-backed Yemeni militias launched an offensive against Houthi fighters in the central Maribi province, where most of the fiercest fighting in Yemen has taken place over the past year as Houthis seek to seize essential oil infrastructure. and Saudi-controlled gas. -supported government. The Saudi-led coalition said on Twitter that it had carried out 39 operations against the Houthis in Marib in the last 24 hours, killing 230 fighters and destroying 21 military vehicles.
Emirati-backed forces recently claimed to have taken the nearby province of Shabwa from Houthi control. And Houthi fighters have also refused to release the cargo and crew of a UAE-flagged ship they seized earlier this month, which they claimed was carrying weapons, despite calls to do so from the United Nations. The Saudi-led coalition has said the ship was instead transporting medical equipment from a field hospital, calling the seizure an act of piracy.
The two sides have been at war since 2015, when the Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen, seeking to oust the Houthis after the rebel group invaded the Yemeni capital and overthrew the internationally recognized government.
The UAE initially engaged its troops in the war, but later withdrew with increasing casualties.
The Houthis have previously claimed attacks on Emirati targets across Yemen’s borders, including a cruise missile at an Abu Dhabi nuclear power plant in 2017. But the UAE has denied this claim.
However, the country has continued to be a major player in Yemen, supporting anti-Houthi fighters on the ground. His support for the Southern Transition Council, a group that split and then waged war against the internationally recognized government, has sparked violent divisions in the campaign against the Houthis.
Abu Dhabi police said the tanker blasts had killed a Pakistani national and two Indian nationals and injured six others.
Shuaib Almosawa, Nada Rashwan and Vivian Yee contributed to reporting.
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