‘Israel Stands with United Arab Emirates,’ FM Lapid States After Drone Attack on Abu Dhabi

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By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 18 January, 2022

Jerusalem, 18 January, 2022 (TPS) — Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid “strongly condemned” the drone attack on Abu Dhabi and conveyed his condolences to the families of those killed and his wishes for a speedy recovery to those wounded.

Drones, launched by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen on Monday, struck the Musaffah ICAD 3 area near the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), resulting in an explosion of three petroleum tankers that killed one Pakistani and two Indian workers, and injured another six people.

A construction area of Abu Dhabi International Airport was also attacked.

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The Abu Dhabi police announced that a preliminary investigation suggests that the cause of the fires are “small flying objects, possibly belonging to drones, that fell in the two areas.”

“Israel stands with the United Arab Emirates,” Lapid stated after the attack, calling on the international community to “strongly condemn such attacks and to act immediately so that Iran and its proxies will not have the tools to continue to undermine regional security and harm innocent people.”

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, “condemned the Houthi militia’s targeting of civilian areas and facilities on UAE soil. We reiterate that those responsible for this unlawful targeting of our country will be held accountable.”

In a statement, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the UAE “reserves the right to respond to these terrorist attacks and criminal escalation, describing them as crimes committed in flagrant violation of international law.”

The Ministry said that “the terrorist militia has carried out a cowardly act to spread terrorism and chaos in the region in order to achieve its illegal aims and objectives,” calling on the international community to “strongly condemn and denounce these terrorist acts that target civilians and civilian facilities.”

The statement did not mention Iran.

Israeli analyst Yoni Ben Menachem, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), pointed out after the attack that the Iranian precise drones have “become a real danger in the Middle East.”

These drones are deployed in Yemen, and possibly in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

The UAV attack by the Houthi rebels from Yemen on Abu Dhabi airport is “just a small example of what the Iranians plan to do to Israel,” he warned.

The current assessment in Israel is that the attack was “massive and large and was planned with the help of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC),” he said.

Israeli intelligence is analyzing the attack, and there is a concern in Israel about the Houthi rebels’ precise attack capabilities using Iranian drones.

The Houthi leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, presented a direct threat to countries and companies in the United Arab Emirates, including Israel and Israeli companies

“As of today, all countries and companies that have investments in the UAE should not treat the UAE as a safe country,” he declared.

Israel has recently successfully upgraded the Iron Dome Defense capabilities to counter drone threats as well.

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