The U.S. navy intervened on Monday to assist the United Arab Emirates thwart a missile assault by rebels in Yemen on an air base the place about 2,000 American personnel are stationed, U.S. and Emirati officers mentioned.
The assault marked a pointy escalation in tensions because it was the second in per week aimed on the United Arab Emirates, which is a part of the Saudi-led coalition that has been at battle with the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen for years. Although the Houthis continuously goal Saudi Arabia, which borders Yemen, strikes aimed on the Emirates had been uncommon till lately, as have American interventions just like the one on Monday, and the nation has been thought of a secure haven in a tumultuous area.
The rebels mentioned that that they had focused Al Dhafra Air Base within the capital, Abu Dhabi, which hosts the U.S. Air Pressure’s 380th Air Expeditionary Wing and has about 2,000 U.S. navy and civilian personnel stationed there. The U.S. deployed Patriot missile defenses on the base.
“U.S. forces at Al Dhafra Air Base, close to Abu Dhabi within the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), engaged two inbound missile threats with a number of Patriot interceptors coincident to efforts by the armed forces of the U.A.E.,” mentioned Capt. Invoice City, chief spokesman for the U.S. Central Command. “The mixed efforts efficiently prevented each missiles from impacting the bottom,” it added. American and Emirati officers mentioned there have been no casualties.
The Emirati Ministry of Protection mentioned the 2 missiles have been fired by the Houthis.
American forces on the bottom have been on a heightened state of alert and spent about an hour in safety bunkers after the missile alert sounded, mentioned Lt. Col. Phillip Ventura, a spokesman for the U.S. Air Forces within the Center East.
“U.S. forces at Al Dhafra stand with the U.A.E. and our coalition companions throughout the area,” mentioned Brig. Gen. Andrew Clark, commander of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. “Now we have a powerful partnership with the Emiratis and can proceed working collectively in assist of our mutual pursuits.”
Emirati authorities mentioned missile fragments had fallen round Abu Dhabi however triggered no casualties. The Emirati protection ministry affirmed its “full readiness to cope with any threats,” and promised to take all vital measures to guard the state from assaults, in response to the state information company, WAM.
The missile fireplace got here per week after the Houthis claimed responsibility for another attack on the Emirates focusing on the airport in Abu Dhabi and a gasoline depot. That assault on the gasoline depot killed three folks.
The Saudi-led coalition retaliated with airstrikes on northern Yemen, killing scores of individuals at a detention heart and knocking out the web throughout the impoverished nation. The Houthis had threatened to avenge these strikes and to assault the United Arab Emirates once more.
In a video assertion, a Houthi navy spokesman, Yahya Sarea, mentioned the Houthis had carried out the assault in response to an escalation by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and that it had additionally included drones and missile assaults focusing on websites in Dubai, one other Emirati metropolis, and Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Sarea warned international firms and traders within the Emirates to depart “because it has develop into an unsafe nation that can be focused recurrently so long as it continues its aggression and siege of the Yemeni folks.”
The escalation in hostilities is recent proof of the Yemen battle’s obstinacy a 12 months after President Biden took workplace vowing to deliver the battle — and one of many world’s worst humanitarian disasters — to an finish.
After months of territorial good points by the Houthis, who management northern Yemen, forces backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have managed to claw again some territory and shift the momentum of the battle. These offensives have snarled worldwide efforts to push the 2 sides towards peace.
Despite the fact that the assault was efficiently thwarted, it threatened to shake the picture of the U.A.E. as a secure outpost within the chaotic Center East.
“Now we have to be trustworthy that that is one thing that we aren’t used to,” mentioned Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a Dubai-based political scientist. “The U.A.E. has maintained a status of being a secure haven for traders, guests and vacationers,” he added, predicting that the assaults wouldn’t do lasting harm to that picture.
“Possibly at present, there’s this assault,” he mentioned. However the rich U.A.E. “has the most effective protection system that cash should purchase.”
Mona El-Naggar reported from Cairo and Eric Schmitt from Washington, D.C. Ben Hubbard contributed reporting from Beirut, Lebanon.