24th January, 2022
The United Arab Emirates, the tourism and commercial hub of the Gulf region, on Monday said it had foiled a second missile attack by Yemen’s Iranian-aligned Houthi movement group.
The group last week hit a fuel depot in Abu Dhabi, killing three people.
The Houthis, battling a Saudi-led coalition that includes the UAE, have said they aim to punish the UAE for backing militias that are blocking their attempts to capture oil-producing regions in Yemen.
The Houthis have repeatedly carried out cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia.
But their first attack on the UAE on Jan. 17 raised the stakes of a conflict largely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The defence ministry of the UAE, part of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said it destroyed two ballistic missiles on Monday with no casualties.
It also destroyed the launching sites.
The Houthi military spokesperson, Yahya Sarea, said the group had fired Zulfiqar ballistic missiles at al-Dhafra airbase in Abu Dhabi, which is used by the United States, and other “sensitive targets”.
He said it had also launched drones towards Dubai.
“We advise foreign companies and investors in the UAE to leave as it has become unsafe,” he said, adding the group was ready to “meet escalation with escalation”.
Air strikes on Yemen, which the coalition says are aimed at crippling Houthi capabilities, killed at least 60 people in Saada province on Friday, and about 20 people in the Houthi-held capital Sanaa on Tuesday.
The U.S. embassy issued a rare security advisory for the UAE, urging its citizens to “maintain a high level of security awareness”.