HomeMiddle EastUAE says intercepted and destroyed Houthi missiles

UAE says intercepted and destroyed Houthi missiles

Defence ministry says it is ready to deal with threats and will take all necessary measures to protect the UAE from attack.

The United Arab Emirates says it intercepted and destroyed two Houthi ballistic missiles that were targeting the country, as Saudi defenses said they destroyed a ballistic missile launched onto the south of the kingdom.

“The remnants of the intercepted ballistic missiles fell in separate areas around Abu Dhabi,” the defence ministry said in a statement on the state-run WAM news agency on Monday.

At the same time, the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen announced that the Saudi defenses destroyed at dawn today a ballistic missile that was launched towards Dhahran Al-Janoub, in the Asir region in the south of the Kingdom.

The coalition said in a statement that that two residents, a Bangladeshi and a Sudanese, were injured in the attack, as fragments from the missile damaged some shops and cars as it fell onto the industrial zone in Dhahran Al-Janoub.

A spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebel militia later said they had launched attacks targeting both the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, without elaborating.

Houthi-run Al Masirah television channel said the group would announce within hours the details of a “wide military operation” against Saudi Arabia and the UAE amid concern over a further escalation in tensions in the region amid Yemen’s years-long civil war.

The attack on Abu Dhabi, after another last week killed three people and wounded six, further escalates tensions across the Persian Gulf as Yemen’s yearslong civil war grinds on.

Ready to respond

The UAE “is ready to deal with any threats and… takes all necessary measures to protect the state from all attacks,” the defence ministry as quoted as saying.

The coalition had announced earlier that it was pursuing hostile activity from Yemen’s Houthi rebels using drones. The coalition said would take operational measures in accordance with international humanitarian law to protect civilians.

For more than six years, the Iranian-backed Houthis have been battling a Saudi-led coalition – which includes the UAE – in Yemen, repeatedly carrying out cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, and launching an unprecedented assault on Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, on January 17, in which three people were killed.

Videos posted to social media showed the sky over the capital lit up before dawn on Monday, with points of light looking like interceptor missiles in the sky, the Associated Press news agency reported. The videos corresponded to known features of Abu Dhabi.

The missile fire disrupted traffic into Abu Dhabi International Airport, home to the long-haul carrier Etihad, for about an hour after the attack.

In Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, state media said late on Sunday that a Houthi ballistic missile had fallen in the kingdom’s south, injuring two foreigners and damaging workshops and vehicles in an industrial area.

The Saudi-led coalition has ramped up air attacks on what it describes as Houthi targets in Yemen.

At least 60 people were killed when a temporary detention centre in the northern province of Saada was bombed on Friday, and about 20 were killed in the Houthi-held capital of Sanaa in an attack on Tuesday.

The escalation has raised concerns of a worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen where the World Food Programme has warned that more than five million people are on the brink of famine, and 50,000 others were living in famine-like conditions.

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