The drones that struck near Abu Dhabi’s airport and an oil depot this week served as a jolting reminder of an uncomfortable military reality: the ability of armed groups to target critical infrastructure using cheap, hard-to-repel weapons.

Monday’s attack by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi fighters set fuel trucks ablaze, briefly disrupted air transit and killed three people. But its impact went further.

Though it’s still not clear where Monday’s attack originated from, the group’s locally assembled "suicide” drones can now fly more than 1,500 kilometers (930 miles), putting the capital of the United Arab Emirates — and its commercial hub Dubai — within striking distance of northern Yemen.