Houthis launch missile attack on UAE as Israeli president visits
Jan 31, 2022: The UAE has said it has defused a ballistic missile fired from Yemen as the Gulf state hosted Isaac Herzog, Israeli president on his first visit to the country.
The UAE Defense Ministry said on Monday that the missile had been intercepted and destroyed, adding that its wreckage had fallen on an uninhabited area. It did not say whether the missile was aimed at Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, or Dubai, the Middle East’s business and tourism hub.
UAE’s Civil Aviation Authority said air traffic in the Gulf country was running normally, and that all flights were operating normally despite the attack, the state news agency (WAM) reported.
The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition fighting a seven-year-old conflict in Yemen against Iranian-linked Houthis in Yemen that has killed tens of thousands of people, left millions homeless and given rise to what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
A spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi military said on Twitter late on Sunday that the group would reveal details of a new military operation inside the UAE in a matter of hours.
The Houthis attacked Abu Dhabi on January 17, killing three people, and a second missile strike occured a week later, when UAE-backed Yemeni armed groups intervened on the front lines. The UAE Ministry of Defense says Saudi coalition warplanes have destroyed missile launchers in Yemen.
The Gulf state’s public prosecutor said it had summoned several people for sharing videos showing defence systems intercepting a previous missile attack by the Houthis. There were no social media posts on this interception.
Monday’s attack came as Herzog discussed security and bilateral relations with the UAE’s de facto ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi. Herzog spent the night in Abu Dhabi, an Israeli official told Reuters. His office said he would continue to visit the UAE despite the Houthi attack.
The United States, which last week issued a travel advisory warning of continued missile or drone strikes, condemned the attack.
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