Houthi terror attack on Abu Dhabi will not go unpunished, says UAE

The Emirates called on the international community to condemn the 'heinous crime'


Sahim Salim

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Published: Mon 17 Jan 2022, 10:01 PM

Last updated: Tue 18 Jan 2022, 1:29 PM

The UAE has vowed that suspected drone attacks on its civilian facilities by Yemen-based Houthi militants will not go unpunished. One of the attacks caused explosions in three Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) petroleum tankers in Mussafah, killing three and wounding six.

Condemning the attacks on UAE soil, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement: “The UAE reserves the right to respond to these terrorist attacks and criminal escalation.”

The Houthi movement claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The UAE described the attacks as a “heinous crime” committed by the Houthi militia, in violation of international and humanitarian laws.

The ministry said the group continues to spread terror and chaos in the region to destabilise it. The UAE called on the international community to condemn the terror acts that target civilians and civilian facilities.

The ministry also expressed its sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.

Adnoc said the incident happened at 10am on Monday morning at its Mussafah Fuel Depot. According to the Abu Dhabi Police, two of the deceased were Indians, and the third, a Pakistani.

The police did not identify the wounded, but described their injuries as “mild to moderate”.

“Professional support teams are supporting the families of all those who have been impacted,” Adnoc said in a statement. “Emergency response teams, including civil defence, fire and ambulance responders as well as an Adnoc emergency response team, quickly attended the scene, and the fire was brought under control and extinguished.”

The Indian and Pakistani embassies in Abu Dhabi said they were in close touch with the UAE authorities to help identify the deceased.

The Musaffah fire was one of two blazes reported in Abu Dhabi on the day.

Another fire - also suspected to be caused by a drone - broke out in the construction area of the Abu Dhabi Airport. The incident “resulted in a short disruption for a small number of flights”, Etihad said in a statement.

Normal airport operations were resumed quickly, the airline added.

The police said that their preliminary investigations suggest the fires were caused by fragments “possibly belonging to drones”, which fell in the two areas.

A top UAE official said the UAE is dealing with the Houthi attack “transparently and responsibly”.

Taking to Twitter, Dr Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President, said terror groups cannot tamper with the safety and security of the region.

Support pours in for the UAE

Messages of support have been pouring in for the UAE, with many countries condemning the “cowardly terrorist attack”.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the attack in “the strongest terms”.

The Kingdom affirmed its full support for the UAE in the face of all threats to its security and stability. The attack “reaffirms the danger of this terrorist group and its threat to security, peace, and stability in the region and the world”, the ministry said in a statement.

Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it considered targeting civilian installations and vital facilities a terrorist act that violates all international norms and laws.


Bahrain’s foreign ministry called the attack a “blatant attack on the sovereignty of the UAE”.

The Omani Foreign Ministry expressed solidarity with the UAE and pledged support for the measures it takes to maintain security and stability.

Kuwait highlighted the danger posed by Houthis and called on the international community to help put an end to their attacks. The country said it will support any steps taken by the UAE to protect its security and stability.

Yemen’s foreign ministry, Jordan, Arab Parliament and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation also condemned the attack.

Earlier this month, the Houthi movement hijacked a UAE-flagged cargo vessel (RWABEE) carrying hospital equipment off the western Yemeni port of Hodeidah. It was carrying equipment from a shuttered field hospital, when it was attacked.

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