Fires in Abu Dhabi as Houthis announce operation ‘deep in UAE’

Yemen’s Houthi rebels say they have carried out an attack on the United Arab Emirates (UAE), after authorities in the Gulf state reported two fires in the capital, Abu Dhabi, that were possibly caused by drones.

Abu Dhabi police said three fuel tanker trucks had exploded in the industrial Musaffah area near storage facilities of oil firm ADNOC and that a fire broke out at a construction site at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

“Initial investigations found parts of a small plane that could possibly be a drone at both sites that could have caused the explosion and the fire,” the police said in a statement on state news agency WAM.

There was no “significant damage” from the incidents and a full investigation has been launched, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the military spokesman of the Houthis, who are battling a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and includes the UAE, said the group had launched a military operation “deep in the UAE”. More details would be announced in the coming hours, the spokesman added.

The UAE had largely scaled down its military presence in Yemen in 2019 but continues to hold sway through Yemeni forces it armed and trained.

The Houthis have used bomb-laden drones to launch crude and imprecise attacks aimed at Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The group has also launched missiles at Saudi airports, oil facilities and pipelines, as well as used booby-trapped boats for attacks in key shipping routes.

Yemen’s government-aligned forces, aided by the UAE-backed Giants Brigades and with help from Saudi air daids, reclaimed the entire southern province of Shabwa from the Houthis earlier this month and made advances in nearby Marib province.

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