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International News
Long-range Kamikaze drones were likely used in Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi
 
Abu Dhabi, The Houthis most likely used explosive drones, or the “loitering munitions”, to target Abu Dhabi’s airport and oil facilities in Monday’s attack, in what is considered to be one of its biggest strikes on its Gulf rivals in recent years.
These explosive drones, frequently used by the Houthis to attack Saudi Arabia, typically have a rear-mounted “pusher propeller” system and are constructed from cheap material, sometimes including wooden components.

In recent years the flimsy looking planes have been rigged with bombs and are sometimes referred to as “Kamikaze drones”.
Drones such as the Houthi Qasef-2K and Sammad 3, propeller-driven aircraft, are slow moving but have a long range. They have high endurance petrol engines, often made from strong, lightweight material such as titanium and carbon fibre, to reduce weight. The Houthis also have a small cruise missile fitted with turbojet engines, copied from European designs, news reports said.
Monday's drone attack in the Mussaffah area of Abu Dhabi, in which two Indian nationals and one Pakistani were killed, and six others, including two Indians, injured, was a show of the Houthis’ recent military advancements -- believed to have been made with the help of Iran.
Tehran publicly supports the Houthis but denies supplying them with weapons or any sort of military assistance.

On Monday, senior Houthi leader Zeifollah al-Shami said the drone attacks targeting the UAE’s oil storage tanks in Mussafah were “a legitimate and legal retaliation” and warned that the entire United Arab Emirate is “within the range of the Yemeni military”.
Al-Shami, who is the Information Minister of Yemen's National Salvation Government, said the “attack by the Yemeni armed forces against the UAE was part of a legal and legitimate response that was carried out in retaliation to the escalation of war by the UAE and its continuous military actions against the people of Yemen”.

Calling Monday’s strike “a legitimate reaction against enemies of Yemeni people”, Al-Shami underlined that the “equations have changed”, and that the most important message of this operation was “to tell the UAE that its entire territory will be within range and reach of the Yemeni military and if they continue to carry out attacks against Yemen and keep killings its people, there will be retaliation”.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting against the Houthis in Yemen later announced on Monday that it destroyed nine drones launched in the direction of southern Saudi Arabia.
The UAE foreign ministry said it "reserves the right to respond" to the Houthi "terrorist" attacks.
“This terrorist militia continues its crimes unchecked in an effort to spread terrorism and chaos in the region in order to achieve its illegal aims and objectives,” a statement by the ministry said.
The Saudi-led coalition responded to the Houthis’ attack, launching air strikes that killed more than 20 people, including women and children, according to the deputy foreign minister for the Houthi administration, which holds much of northern Yemen.

“The terrorist attack by the Iran backed Houthis against Saudi Arabia & the UAE represents a threat to our region’s security,” Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy defence minister, wrote on Twitter.
“The Houthis aren’t interested in peace and remain hostage to their regional backer, which treats our region’s security as a mere negotiating card.”
The recent attacks suggest that the Houthis have improved their military capabilities since 2014 when they captured the Yemeni capital of Sanaa with limited military capabilities.
The UAE was part of the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to reinstate the internationally recognised government of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who was ousted by the Houthis in late 2014.
Though the UAE reduced its military presence in Yemen since 2019, but it retains influence through backing Yemeni fighters.

In recent weeks, Yemen's pro-government forces declared one of their most significant victories in the seven-year war after they drove the Houthis out of the oil-rich southeastern province of Shabwah and advanced into Houthi-held areas of Marib to the north.
The advance has been largely thanks to the intervention of the Giants Brigades, Yemeni troops backed by the UAE.

The Houthis have frequently claimed drone and missile attacks on neighbouring Saudi Arabia during the war, but they claimed only a few attacks on the UAE.
Two weeks ago, the Houthis seized a UAE-flagged ship, the Rawabi, off the Yemen coast, claiming it was carrying "weapons for extremists". The 11 crew members of the ship, including seven Indians, remain hostages. Abu Dhabi has denounced the incident as "a dangerous escalation".
The Yemeni rebels also turned down a UN Security Council demand to release the ship.
The recent developments in Marib and the advances by the UAE-backed Giants Forces are said to be the reasons for the latest Houthi attack on the Gulf country.

The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases.


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