Abu Dhabi Airport Explosion

A possible drone attack sparked an explosion and struct three oil tankers in Abu Dhabi while another fire at the Abu Dhabi International Airport killed three people and injured six, on January 17, 2022.

Highlights

  • Two dead people were identified as Indian nationals while one was from Pakistan.
  • Though, Abu Dhabi police did not offer any suspects, Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the.
  • In past, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have claimed several attacks but UAE officials later denied it.

Background

The incident took place in the backdrop of Yemen’s yearslong war and Emirati-flagged vessel found itself captured by the Houthis, recently.

What caused the explosion?

According to Abu Dhabi police, small flying objects were detected, possibly belonging to drones. They fell in two areas which may have caused the explosion and fire. The other blast, struck three petroleum transport tankers near a storage facility of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. in Musaffah area.

UAE-Yemen War

The UAE has been at war in Yemen since 2015. UAE was also a key member of a Saudi-led coalition which launched attacks against Iranian-backed Houthis and ousted internationally-backed government from power. Though UAE has reduced the number of troops it has on ground, but it continues to engage actively in war and support key militia against Houthis.

Houthi movement

Houthi movement is an Islamist political and armed movement. It emerged in 1990a from Saada in north Yemen. This movement is a predominately Zaidi Shia force, and its leadership is drawn from the Houthi tribe. Houthis have a complex relationship with Yemen’s Sunni Muslims but movement has discriminated against Sunnis. The group emerged as an opposition to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, under the leadership of Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi.

UAE-Iran Relations

Relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iran are deeply historic. It dates back to centuries prior to the establishment of modern-day United Arab Emirates. However, in modern day, the relation has been witnessing up-and-down. They maintain diplomatic relations and have established embassies in each other’s capitals.

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