The United Arab Emirates intercepted two ballistic missiles targeting Abu Dhabi
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The United Arab Emirates intercepted two ballistic missiles targeting Abu Dhabi on Monday morning, its state-run news agency reported, the latest attack targeting the Emirati capital.
A spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebel militia later said they launched attacks targeting both the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, without giving further details.
The Abu Dhabi attack, after another last week left three dead and six injured, further heightens tensions in the Persian Gulf as Yemen’s civil war has dragged on for years.
That war, pitting Iran-backed Houthi rebels against a Saudi-led coalition, has become a regional conflict as negotiations continue over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers. The collapse of the agreement sparked years of attacks across the region.
The official WAM news agency said fragments of the missiles fell harmlessly on Abu Dhabi.
The Emirates “stands ready and ready to face any threat and is taking all necessary measures to protect the state from all attacks,” WAM quoted the UAE Ministry of Defense as saying.
Videos posted on social media show the sky above the capital lighting up before dawn on Monday, with points of light resembling interceptor missiles in the sky. The videos matched known features of Abu Dhabi.
The missile launch disrupted traffic to Abu Dhabi International Airport, home to long-haul carrier Etihad, for about an hour after the attack.
A Houthi military spokesman did not immediately respond to questions from the AP about Monday’s attack. Mohammed Abdul-Salam, a Houthi spokesman, then tweeted: “The Yemeni armed forces will reveal, in the next few hours, details of a military operation in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
The US Embassy in Abu Dhabi then issued a security alert to Americans living in the United Arab Emirates, warning citizens to “maintain a high level of security awareness”. The alert included instructions on how to deal with missile attacks, something unheard of in the United Arab Emirates, a tourist destination home to Dubai and its long-haul carrier Emirates.
The attack came a week after Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for an attack on the Emirati capital targeting the airport and an Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. fuel depot in the Mussafah district.
New high-resolution satellite photographs obtained by The Associated Press from Planet Labs PBC showed repair work still underway at the fuel depot on Saturday. Emirati officials have not released images of the sites attacked, nor allowed journalists to view them.
In recent days, a Saudi-led and UAE-backed coalition has unleashed punitive airstrikes targeting Yemen, shutting down the Arab world‘s poorest country and killing more than 80 people in a detention center .
The Houthis had threatened revenge against the Emirates and Saudi Arabia for the attacks. On Sunday, the Saudi-led coalition said a Houthi-launched ballistic missile landed in an industrial zone in Jizan, Saudi Arabia, lightly injuring a foreigner.
Iran’s radical daily Kayhan, whose editor was appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, published a front-page story last Sunday quoting Houthi officials as saying the UAE would be attacked again with a headline “Evacuate Emirati businesses. rounds. »
In 2017, the newspaper faced a two-day publication ban after running a headline saying Dubai was the Houthis’ “next target”.
Associated Press writers Isabel DeBre in Dubai, Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, and Samy Magdy in Cairo contributed to this report.