Sanaa: Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels on Sunday said they fired a long-range winged cruise missile towards the Barraka nuclear reactor in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.
“The missile hit the target accurately in Abu Dhabi,” Xinhua news agency quoted a statement carried by Saba news that cited a Houthi military official as saying.
This is the third long-range ballistic missile attack on neighbouring Gulf states in a month.
On November 30, Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen over the border Saudi city of Khamis Mushait.
On November 4, Saudi air defences shot down a ballistic missile fired by Houthis in Yemen over the King Khaled International Airport north of Saudi capital Riyadh.
The November 4 missile attack triggered an all-out blockade imposed by the Saudi-led military coalition over all Yemeni air, sea and land ports, cutting off all aid, fuel and food imports.
The coalition last week eased the siege, allowing only some aid access through northern Houthi-controlled ports, though the United Nations aid agencies warned that was not enough and pleaded for the coalition to allow food imports.
Sunday’s missile attack on Abu Dhabi came one day after former President Ali Abdullah Saleh broke partnership with the Houthi movement.
On Saturday, Saleh declared war against the Houthis and called for the army, security forces and tribes to join his party’s armed revolution aiming to topple Houthi control over the capital Sanaa.
Saleh announced in his televised speech on Saturday that he stretched out his hands towards peace and compromise with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which led the military coalition against Yemen for nearly three years.
Houthi leader Abdul-Malek al-Houthi accused Saleh of “betrayal” and vowed to keep fighting against the coalition.
Spokesman of Saleh’s media office Nabil al-Soufi said in his Twitter account that Saleh’s move aimed to bring back to power his older son Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh and his family who have been living in Abu Dhabi since 2012.
The coalition welcomed Saleh’s new stance and pledged to support him and his party against the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement, according to the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya satellite TV channel.
The Houthis and Saleh’s loyalists had been aligned and fighting the coalition since both forces stormed the capital Sanaa in 2014 and forced Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.