US warns of ‘missile or drone attacks’ in UAE travel advisory | Conflict News


An Emirati official says the UAE remains one of the safest countries, promising Houthi attacks will not be a “new normal”.

The US State Department added the ‘threat of missile or drone attacks’ to a travel advisory for the United Arab Emirates, which was already on a US list of ‘do not travel’ destinations due to the pandemic of COVID-19.

The department added the potential new threat to its travel warning for the United Arab Emirates – already at the highest level, “do not travel” – on Thursday.

The possibility of attacks affecting American citizens and interests in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula remains an ongoing and serious concern,” the State Department said.

“Rebel groups operating in Yemen have declared their intention to attack neighboring countries, including the United Arab Emirates, using missiles and drones. Recent missile and drone attacks have targeted populated areas and civil infrastructure.

The update came 10 days after a drone and missile attack claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels killed three people in Abu Dhabi. Another missile attack targeting the UAE capital on Monday temporarily disrupted air traffic.

The US military said it helped intercept two Houthi missiles on Monday that targeted Al Dhafra air base, home to around 2,000 US service members.

The Department of State recently raised the travel advisory for most countries around the world, including neighboring Canada, to “do not travel” due to COVID-19. There are four levels of warning, the lowest being ‘take normal precautions’.

In response to the US travel warning, an Emirati official told AFP news agency that the United Arab Emirates remained “one of the safest countries”.

“This will not be the new normal for the UAE,” the official said. “We refuse to acquiesce to the threat of Houthi terror that targets our people and our way of life.

The Houthis have recently started directly targeting the United Arab Emirates – a key ally of Saudi Arabia, which is waging a bombing campaign against the Houthis.

The Saudi-led, US-backed coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to repel Houthi rebels, who had taken control of most of the country, including the capital Sanaa, and to restore government supported by the Gulf of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The war has brought Yemen to the brink of famine, triggering what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The coalition accuses the rebels of being proxies for Iran – a charge the Houthis and Tehran deny.

While the United Arab Emirates said it had withdrawn its troops from Yemen, the Houthis accused the country of supporting anti-rebel forces across the country. The Houthis said the attacks on the United Arab Emirates were in retaliation for what they called “the US-Saudi-Emirati aggression”.

“The United Arab Emirates will be a dangerous state as long as its aggressive escalation against Yemen continues,” a Houthi military spokesman said after the deadly attack on Abu Dhabi on January 17.


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