JERUSALEM, Israel – The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for a deadly drone and missile attack targeting a key oil facility in the United Arab Emirates that killed three people and started a fire at Abu Dhabi’s international airport on Monday.
One Pakistani and two Indian nationals were killed in the attack, Emirati officials said. At least six people were injured when three fuel tanker trucks exploded at an industrial area where Abu Dhabi's state-owned energy company stores oil.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed they were behind an attack targeting “sensitive Emirati facilities." Military spokesman Yehia Sarea said in a press conference Monday that the Houthis targeted the airports of Abu Dhabi and Dubai and other sites with ballistic missiles and drones.
He also warned of more attacks in “the coming period.”
Senior Emirati diplomat Anwar Gargash condemned the rebel group's “vicious attack” and said the “tampering of the region's security by terrorist militias is too weak to affect the stability and safety in which we live.”
The UAE is part of a Saudi-led military campaign against the Houthi rebels. Although the UAE has withdrawn most of its own forces in Yemen, it is backing Yemeni government forces that have successfully pushed back the rebels in key provinces recently.
Earlier this month, government forces reclaimed the province of Shabwa, a major blow to Houthi efforts to gain complete control of the entire northern half of Yemen.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Monday’s attack and said Washington would work work to hold the Houthis accountable.
Saudi Arabia and several other Arab states decried the incident as “a cowardly terrorist attack."