Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi militia used cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as drones, in Monday’s attack on Abu Dhabi that killed three people, the UAE ambassador to the US said on Wednesday.
“A combination of cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and drones targeted civilian sites in the UAE. Several were intercepted, a few of them didn’t, and three innocent civilians unfortunately lost their lives,” ambassador Yousef Al-Otaiba said in a panel hosted by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America.
This marked the first acknowledgement by UAE officials that missiles were used by the Houthis in Monday’s attack on Abu Dhabi which led to a fire breaking out and resulted in the explosion of three petroleum tankers, and another fire that broke out in the area of the new construction site of Abu Dhabi International Airport.
In addition to the three causalities, six others were wounded.
Yemen’s Houthi militia claimed responsibility for the attack saying it conducted an operation “deep in the UAE,” and the group’s spokesman said they fired five ballistic missiles and “a large number” of explosive-laden drones at “sensitive sites” in the UAE.
Otaiba said the Houthis were a “terrorist organization” that attacked civilians in a country “that was not at war.”
“We have long left the Yemen war. We are still being a target. And for the sake of transparency, we are asking our friends in the [US] administration and in Congress to re-instate the Houthi terrorist designation as an FTO,” he added.
President Joe Biden’s administration revoked a terrorist designation of the Houthis introduced by former President Donald Trump in January of last year. Biden also announced in ending US support for the offensive operations of the Arab Coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, which intervened in Yemen in 2015.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE maintained over the course of the past year that they will continue to treat the Houthis as a terrorist organization regardless of whether the US decided to designate the group as such.