A least three people were killed and six wounded in a drone attack at Abu Dhabi's new international airport on Monday. The attack was carried out by Iran-backed Houthi rebels. A fire broke out at an extension of the new international airport as a result of the attack. Three fuel tanker trucks exploded in the Musaffah area during the attack.
The Houthi rebels have officially owned the responsibility of the attack. Of the three dead two are Indian nationals, while the third is a Pakistani. The six injured have injuries ranging from light to medium, according to WAM, Dubai's Al-Arabiya English reported.
The fire at the airport extension is believed to be minor, according to officials. However, three fuel tanker trucks blew up in flames in the Musaffah area near the storage facilities of ADNOC, Abu Dhabi's state-owned oil company.
"UAE authorities have informed that the explosion at Mussafah, near ADNOC's storage tanks, has led to three casualties, which includes 2 Indian nationals. The Mission India in UAE is in close touch with concerned UAE authorities for further details," read a tweet from the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
That said, although Yemen's Houthi rebels owned up to the responsibility of the drone attacks, they didn't elaborate on the exact purpose behind the attack. The UAE has been at war in Yemen since early 2015, and was a key member of the Saudi-led coalition that launched attacks against the Iranian-backed Houthis after the group overran the capital of Yemen and ousted the internationally backed government from power.
According to UAE officials, the three fuel tanker trucks were the original target. Video footage after the attack shows black plume of smoke rising up into the sky from the area of where one of the drones struck.
AN investigation has been launched into the attack but no further details were given by the UAE government.
Owning the responsibility of the attack, Yahia Sarei, military spokesman of Yemen's Houthi movement, said the group launched a military operation "deep in the UAE" and would share the details in coming hours. Houthi rebels in the past have claimed several attacks but Emirati officials later denied that any attack taking place.
According to police, there were multiple attacks. The one that blew off the three fuel tankers took place near a storage facility for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in the Musaffah area. The neighborhood, 13 miles from the center of Abu Dhabi city, also has an oil pipeline network and 36 storage tanks, from which transport trucks carry fuel nationwide.
Drone attacks are a hallmark of the Houthis' assaults on Saudi Arabia, the UAE ally that is leading the coalition fighting for Yemen's government in the grinding civil war. Yemen's conflict has been a catastrophe for millions of its citizens who have fled their homes, with many on the brink of famine, in what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Al Jazeera reported that according to the Houthi minister of information, these attacks are to "teach the UAE a lesson ... in order to stop its involvement and participating in the Saudi-led coalition war in Yemen".