The United Arab Emirates on Monday (January 31) intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemeni Houthi rebels for the third time this month. The attack comes during the Israeli President’s first visit to the Gulf state.
No injuries, transmitter destroyed
“The air defenses intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile fired at our country by Houthi terrorists‘ the Emirati Ministry of Defense said in a press release. The debris from the rocket fell in an unpopulated area, authorities added, without specifying which region of the country. They also stated that there were no casualties.
The site from which the Houthi missile was launched, in al-Jawf in northern Yemen, was destroyed, according to the ministry. He posted a video of the explosion showing plumes of black smoke.
Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said Abu Dhabi was hit by multiple ballistic missiles and Dubai by drones.
The attack coincides with Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s first official visit to the Emirates since relations between the two countries were normalized in 2020. Isaac Herzog’s office affirmed that he “would continue his visit as planned“.
Third attack of the month
On Sunday, January 30, the President expressed Israeli support for the “security requirements“of the Emirates and doomed”any violation of (her) sovereignty by terrorist groups”which presumably refers to attacks by Yemeni rebels.
Monday’s attack is the third against the Emirates since early January. On the 17th, three people were killed in a drone and missile attack in Abu Dhabi, and on the 24th, two missile launches were intercepted by American forces stationed in the Emirates capital.
In retaliation, the coalition launched new strikes on Yemeni territory, residents and local journalists testified.
The Emirates are “absolutely ready to face any threat“and take”all necessary protective measures (the country),” the Emirati Defense Ministry reiterated on Monday. The Houthis called them again “Citizens, residents and foreign companies (in the Emirates) to stay away (…) strategic infrastructures because they are likely to be targeted soon“.
The Emirates are part of a Saudi-led military coalition that has backed the Yemeni government against the Houthis since 2015. The country withdrew its troops from Yemen in 2019 but remains an influential player in the conflict.
New War Page
“We condemn the recent Houthi missile attack on Abu Dhabi‘ spokesman for American diplomacy Ned Price tweeted on Monday.While the Israeli President is in the Emirates to build bridges and promote regional stability, the Houthis continue to launch attacks that threaten civilians“.
We condemn the recent Houthi missile attack on Abu Dhabi. As the Israeli President visits the United Arab Emirates to build bridges and promote stability across the region, the Houthis continue to launch attacks that threaten civilians.
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) January 31, 2022
For his part, Emirati Presidential Advisor Anwar Gargash hinted that the Emirates were working on their “goals and to (her) strategic vision to help build a stable and prosperous region“.”Provocation will not work”he said.
Mahdi al-Mashat, a senior Houthi politician, said the attacks on the Emirates show the “The Houthis’ determination to carry out their threats as long as the Emirates continue their aggression (in Yemen)”.
The increase in Houthi attacks on the Emirates turns a new page in the Yemen war that began in 2014.
In more than seven years of war, all parties to the conflict have been accused of “war crimes” by UN experts. Entangled in several “mistakes”, the coalition recognized “MistakeBut accuses Iran-backed rebels of using civilians as human shields. 30 million people on the brink of starvation in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula.