Yemen’s army says it has launched drone attacks deep inside the United Arab Emirates as Emirati officials say three tankers, carrying fuel, exploded in Abu Dhabi.
The Yemeni military conducts regular retaliatory attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia over its devastating war on Yemen. But, attack against the UAE, which is fighting alongside Saudi Arabia, has been rare.
Abu Dhabi police, in a statement published on the official Emirates News Agency WAM, said three fuel tankers had exploded in the Musaffah area, which lies southwest of the UAE capital and has been designated a special economic zone with numerous factories and ports.
The statement noted that the explosions took place near storage facilities of oil firm ADNOC.
A fire also broke out at a construction site at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The statement added that initial investigations showed parts of a small plane, “possibly a drone”, in both sites.
Meanwhile, spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree said he will put out a statement within the next few hours to present details of a qualitative military operation against targets deep inside the UAE.
On January 3, Saree said Yemeni naval troops and Popular Committees fighters had managed to seize a UAE-flagged vessel off the port of Hudaydah as it was carrying military equipment and engaging in hostile acts.
The spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces stated that the Yemeni forces and their allies captured the vessel after it trespassed into Yemen’s territorial waters and was acting against the security and stability of the country.
Hussein al-Azi, deputy foreign minister in Yemen’s National Salvation Government, later said that the ship was carrying various munitions and military equipment when it was seized in Yemen’s territorial waters.
“The Rwabee was neither loaded with dates nor children’s toys. It was rather carrying weapons destined for extremist groups who jeopardize the lives of ordinary citizens,” he pointed out.
Saudi Arabia, backed by the United States and regional allies, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah resistance movement.
The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases there.
Despite heavily-armed Saudi Arabia’s incessant bombardment of the impoverished country, the Yemeni armed forces and the Popular Committees have grown steadily in strength against the Saudi-led invaders and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.