UAE says Abu Dhabi airport operating normally, denies Houthi attack claim

Abu Dhabi Airports confirmed in a statement that there had been an incident involving a supply vehicle



The United Arab Emirates (UAE) denied reports on Thursday that Yemen’s Iranian-aligned Houthi movement had attacked Abu Dhabi airport with a drone, and said operations were unaffected.

Houthi-run media said earlier that a Sammad-3 drone had launched three strikes on the facility, disrupting air traffic, but did not provide any evidence and there were no reports of damage or casualties.

“Operations at the airport are business as usual,” a UAE official told Reuters.

The Houthis attacked two tankers in the Bab al-Mandeb strait a day earlier, prompting Saudi Arabia to suspend oil shipments through the strategic Red Sea lane.

Read: Saudi suspends oil exports through Red Sea lane after Houthi attack

The Houthis control much of northern Yemen and have said Abu Dhabi, a member of the Western-backed coalition fighting against them since 2015, was a target for their missiles.

The UAE has an advanced anti-missile interception system – the Theatre High Altitude Area Defence, (THAAD) which is designed to destroy short- and intermediate-range missiles both inside and outside the Earth’s atmosphere.

Abu Dhabi Airports tweeted earlier in the day that there had been an incident “involving a supply vehicle in Terminal 1 airside area of the airport at approximately 4:00pm”. It was unclear if it was referring to the same incident.

“This incident has not affected operations at AUH and flights continue to arrive and depart as scheduled,” the operator said.

In December last year, the Houthis said they fired a cruise missile towards a nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi.

Read: UAE denies Yemen’s Houthis have fired missile towards emirates

With contributions from Reuters