Houthi followers hold mock missiles and their rifles as they shout slogans during a demonstration against the UN in Sanaa. (Reuters)

January 17, 2022

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis said they launched an attack on the United Arab Emirates, Reuters reported on Monday, after police in the capital Abu Dhabi reported two fires.

An explosion involving three oil tankers in Abu Dhabi and a fire in the construction site of the emirate’s new airport extension on Monday morning were potentially caused by drones, Abu Dhabi police said in a statement carried by the official WAM news agency.

The Houthis plan to announce a “qualitative military operation in the UAE in the coming hours,” according to a post from a Twitter account linked to the militia’s spokesperson Yahya Saree.

Both fires have been brought under control and air traffic was not affected, according to an Al Arabiya correspondent.

No significant damage was reported. A full investigation has been launched into the cause of the fires.

The UAE intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 as part of the Arab Coalition. It scaled down its operations in 2019.

A UAE cargo ship, the Rwabee, was hijacked by Houthi forces on the night of January 1.

The ship was on its way from Socotra Island in Yemen to the port of Jazan in Saudi Arabia, carrying equipment leased by a Saudi company used in a field hospital on the island, according to the Arab Coalition.

The Houthis claimed that the vessel was carrying military equipment.

Onboard were seven Indian sailors, an Ethiopian, and Indonesian, a Filipino, and a sailor from Myanmar.

Al Arabiya

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.