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Drone attack may be behind explosion, oil tanker fire in Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates police say the drone may have caused an explosion on three oil tankers in Abu Dhabi and may have caused a separate fire at an extension of the emirate’s main airport on Monday.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Drones may have caused an explosion on three oil tankers in Abu Dhabi and may have caused a separate fire at an extension of the emirate’s main airport on Monday, according to a police statement.

Abu Dhabi police described the airport fire as “minor” and said it took place at an extension of the international airport still under construction. The statement said a separate explosion aboard three oil tankers transported near a depot of ADNOC, Abu Dhabi’s state-owned oil company.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim they have launched an attack on the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi is the seat of government of the UAE and runs the country’s foreign policy.

The UAE has been at war in Yemen since early 2015 and is a key member of the Saudi-led coalition that launched attacks on Iran-backed Houthis after the group captured the capital. capital of Yemen and toppled the internationally backed government from power.

Although the UAE has reduced the number of troops on the ground, it continues to be actively involved in the war and supports key militias fighting the Houthis. It also works closely with the United States in counterterrorism operations in Yemen.

The Houthis have come under pressure in recent weeks and are suffering heavy losses as Yemeni forces, allied and backed by the UAE, have pushed back the rebel group in key provinces in the south and central region. of the country. Yemen’s government-aligned forces, supported by the UAE-backed Giants Brigade and with help from Saudi air strikes, have recaptured the entire southern province of Shabwa from the Houthis earlier this month and advance in nearby Marib province.

On Monday, Houthi military spokesman Yahia Sarei said the group had launched an attack deep into the UAE. He did not provide further details, saying a statement would be made soon.

The location of the ADNOC depot where the tankers caught fire is about 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) northeast of Saada, a stronghold of the Houthis in Yemen.

The incident happened while South Korean President Moon Jae-in was visiting the UAE. During the president’s meeting with the Prime Minister of the Emirate and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Sunday, the two countries are said to have reached a preliminary agreement worth about $3.5 billion to sell the name Korea’s medium-range surface-to-air missile for the UAE.

The Houthis have claimed previous attacks on Abu Dhabi’s airport, as well as the emirate’s Barakah nuclear power plant – claims that Emirati officials have denied in the past.

The Houthis used bomb-laden drones to carry out crude and imprecise attacks against Saudi Arabia and the UAE throughout the war. The group has also launched missiles at Saudi airports, oil and gas facilities and pipelines, and used stranded boats to attack key shipping lanes.

While civilians have been killed in some of these attacks in Saudi Arabia, the number of civilian deaths has been in Yemen. The war has killed 130,000 people in Yemen – both civilians and fighters – and exacerbated hunger across the impoverished country.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/drone-attack-abu-dhabi-tanker-explosion-fire-82304054 Drone attack may be behind explosion, oil tanker fire in Abu Dhabi

Emma Bowman

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