Iran-aligned Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for a done bombing that took place at Abu Dhabi International Airport earlier today, killing three.
Abu Dhabi International Drone Attack Kills Three, Wounds Six
Six people were wounded and three killed, including two Indians and one Pakistani, at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). Three oil tankers were targeted, sending billowing plumes of black smoke into the air. The bombing took place near the “extension” of the airport, which is an ongoing construction project meant to be the future home of Etihad Airways.
Footage of 4h ago in Abu Dhabi shows fire plums rising (I’m guessing this is the construction site at the international airport)pic.twitter.com/acdGAdIKFD
— AryJaey 🇮🇷 (@AryJaey) January 17, 2022
Video of Abu Dhabi airport and industrial town after the angry attack of the Yemeni forces today pic.twitter.com/VjTh8mVo6l
— Spriter (@spriter99880) January 17, 2022
Additional bombings took place at Musaffah, an industrial area that houses fuel storage facilities and a pipeline network.
While an investigation continues, authorities have thus far downplayed the incident, calling it “minor” and reporting “no significant damage.” Beyond the visible damage, that’s quite an interesting assessment considering three people died and this incident marks the first incursion of Houthi attacks into the United Arab Emirates. While the UAE has pulled troops back from Yemen, it continues to support Saudi-backed Yemeni militias fighting Houthis rebels. Civil war has been ongoing in Yemen since 2014.
Flights Resume After Temporary Suspension
The incident temporarily suspended flights from AUH, though departures and arrivals have fully resumed. Etihad said “precautionary measures resulted in a short disruption for a small number of flights” but has withheld further comment on the incident.
At nearby Al-Dhafra Air Base, which houses U.S. and French troops, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark told the AP, “U.S. forces are ready and available to assist and support their Emirati partners if requested.”
Saudi Arabia described the incident as “a cowardly terrorist attack.”
This is not the first time Houthi rebels have used drones to attack commercial airports. A Flyadeal Airbus A320 was attacked at Abha International Airport in southwest Saudi Arabia last February.
In what hopefully will not mark a broadening of the conflict in Yemen, Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for a pair of attacks, including one at Abu Dhabi International Airport. My prayers are with the families of the deceased.