Planet Labs PBC / AP
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates Satellite images taken by the Associated Press on Tuesday appear to show the aftermath of a fatal attack on an oil refinery in the UAE capital, claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
Images from Planet Labs PBC analyzed by the AP show smoke rising over a Abu Dhabi National Oil Co fuel depot in Abu Dhabi’s Mussafah district on Monday. Another image taken a little later appears to show signs of burning and white fire foam placed on the ground of the depot.
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, known by its acronym ADNOC, is the state-owned energy firm that secures most of the wealth of the United Arab Emirates, a seven-sheikhdom federation in the Arabian Peninsula, also home to Dubai.
ADNOC did not immediately respond to inquiries from the AP asking about the location and estimates of the damage from the attack. The company said the attack took place around 10 a.m. Monday.
“We are working closely with the relevant authorities to determine the exact cause and a detailed investigation has been launched,” ADNOC said in an earlier statement.
The attack killed two Indian nationals and a Pakistani after three tanks in the country exploded, police said. Six people were also injured at the facility, which is close to Al-Dhafra air base, a massive Emirati installation, also home to U.S. and French forces.
Another fire also hit Abu Dhabi International Airport, although the damage in that attack could not be seen. Police described the attack as a suspected drone attack.
Senior Emirati diplomat Anwar Gargash blamed Houthi for the attack, saying on Twitter that Emirati authorities were treating “rebel group savage attack on several civilian buildings” in the UAE capital with “transparency and responsibility”. “.
“The perception of security in the region by terrorist militias is too weak to affect the stability and security in which we live,” he said.
Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels claimed to have been behind an attack targeting “sensitive Emirati facilities”. At a news conference Monday, military spokesman Yehia Sarea said, without providing evidence, that the Houthis targeted Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports, as well as an oil refinery and other locations in the UAE with ballistic missiles and drones. loaded with explosives. Dubai Airport operated normally on Monday.
At dawn on Tuesday, the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen announced that it had launched a bombing campaign targeting Houthi countries in the capital Sanaa.
Videos released overnight by the Houthis showed damage, with rebels saying the attack killed at least 12 people. An international aid worker in Sanaa said civilians were among the dead. He said the airstrike hit a house for a senior military official, who was killed along with his wife and son. The worker spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
Although the UAE has largely withdrawn its forces from Yemen, they are still actively involved in the conflict and support Yemeni militias fighting the Houthis.
The incident comes as the Houthis face pressure and are suffering heavy losses. Yemeni government forces, allied and backed by the United Arab Emirates, have pushed the rebels into the main provinces. Aided by Emirati-backed Giant Brigades, government forces retook Shabwa province earlier this month as a blow to Houthi efforts to end their control over the entire northern half of Yemen.
Planet Labs PBC / AP
Conviction for the attack in the UAE was poured from all over the world.
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the United States will work with the UAE and international partners to hold Houthi accountable, saying “we stand with our Emirati partners against all threats to their territory “.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denounced the attack as “prohibited by international law” and urged all parties “to prevent any escalation amid rising tensions in the region,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. The UN special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, left for Riyadh for meetings with Saudi and Yemeni officials on the “latest military build-up” in Yemen, Dujarric added.
Saudi Arabia and a host of other Arab states described the attack as “a cowardly terrorist attack”. The Kingdom, as well as the US, UN experts and others have accused Iran of supplying weapons to the Houthis.
The UAE was a key member of the Saudi-led coalition that has been waging war against the Houthis since 2015, trying to restore the internationally backed government ousted by rebels last year.
While Emirati troops have been killed during the conflict, now in its eighth year, the war has not directly affected daily life in the UAE, a country with a large foreign workforce.
Associated Press writers Isabel DeBre in Dubai and Samy Magdy in Cairo contributed to this report.
Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.
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