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Houthi rebels used missiles in Abu Dhabi attack

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (AP) – Yemen’s Houthi rebels used cruise and ballistic missiles, in addition to drones, in an attack on Abu Dhabi this week that killed three people and set off fires at a fuel depot and an international airport, the Emirati ambassador to the United States (US) said on Wednesday.

The remarks by Ambassador Yousef Al-Otaiba marked an official acknowledgement that missiles – and not just drones – were used in Monday’s attack, claimed by the Houthis.

“Several attacks – a combination of cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and drones – targetted civilian sites in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).”

Al-Otaiba did not respond to further questions from The Associated Press about how many missiles targetted the UAE and how many were intercepted.

The missiles and drones with bombs attached – if they were fired from the Houthis’ stronghold in northern Yemen – would have needed to travel some 1,800 kilometres to reach targets in Abu Dhabi.

Monday’s attack targetted an Abu Dhabi National Oil Co fuel depot in an industrial zone outside the city centre of the Emirati capital, as well as an area of Abu Dhabi International Airport still under construction.

The Houthis said they fired five ballistic missiles and a number of explosive-laden drones in their attack. They said they targetted the airports of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the world’s busiest for international transits, as well as an oil refinery and other sensitive Emirati facilities. There was no indication Dubai was hit in Monday’s attack.

Satellite image shows white fire suppressing foam seen after an attack on an Abu Dhabi National Oil Co fuel depot. PHOTO: AP