Mon. May 23rd, 2022

An aerial photo of Abu Dhabi International Airport on December 8, 2021.

Source: Planet Labs PBC


Police said while an investigation was underway, preliminary results suggested there were small flying objects, possibly belonging to drones, that fell into the two areas and may have caused the explosion and fire. They said there was no significant damage from the incidents, without giving further details.

“We condemn the Huthi terrorist militia’s targeting of civilian areas and facilities on UAE soil today … this sinful targeting will not go unpunished,” UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said in a statement as his ministry described the attack as a “cruel criminal escalation”.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said Monday it had destroyed eight drones fired at the kingdom, Saudi state media reported.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s Houthi insurgents claimed to be behind an attack on the United Arab Emirates on Monday, without immediately elaborating. The Iranian-backed Houthis have claimed several attacks, which Emirati officials later denied took place.

The incident comes as Yemen’s years-long war continues and when a ship under the Emirati flag was recently captured by the Houthis. Although the United Arab Emirates has largely withdrawn its own forces from the conflict that divides the poorest nation of the Arab world, they are still actively engaged in Yemen and support local militias fighting the Houthis.

The Abu Dhabi airport fire was described by police as “minor” and took place in an expansion of the international airport, which is still under construction. For years, the airport, home to Etihad Airways, has been building its new Midfield Terminal, but it was not clear if that was where the fire took place.

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Etihad Airways said “precautionary measures resulted in a short interruption for a small number of flights” and that airport operations have returned to normal. Abu Dhabi Airports did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The second explosion hit three oil transport tankers near a complex for Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. in Musaffah industrial area. The company describes it as a pipeline and a terminal facility located about 22 km from the center of the city of Abu Dhabi, where 36 storage tanks also supply transport trucks with fuel. It is also a short distance from Al-Dhafra Air Base, a military installation hosting US and French forces.

The location of the ADNOC plant, where the tankers caught fire, is approximately 1800 km northeast of Saada, the stronghold of the Houthis in Yemen.

While Emirati troops have been killed in the war in Yemen, the conflict so far has not directly affected the daily lives of the wider UAE, a country with a large foreign workforce that is also home to Dubai, a glittering city of skyscrapers and five-star hotels.

with Reuters

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