US to send fighter jets to UAE following attacks by Houthi rebels

Feb 2, 2022:  According to a report by Reuters, the US said it is sending fighter jets to assist the United Arab Emirates following missile attacks on the Gulf state launched by Yemen’s Houthi movement, including a foiled attack aimed at a base hosting US forces.

In a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin also told Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan that Washington would send the guided missile destroyer the USS Cole to partner with the UAE navy ahead of a port call in Abu Dhabi.

A press release from the US Defense Department read, “The Secretary also informed the Crown Prince of his decision to deploy 5th Generation Fighter aircraft to assist the UAE against the current threat and as a clear signal that the United States stands with the UAE as a long-standing strategic partner.”

On Monday this week, while the Israeli president was visiting the UAE in a first and historic visit, the country intercepted a Houthi missile, the third such attack in two weeks claimed by the Iran-aligned group that is battling a Saudi-led coalition that includes the UAE.

Last week, the US military said it had fired several Patriot missile interceptors at two incoming missiles, fired by the Houthis at the UAE’s Al-Dhafra airbase. The UAE envoy to the United Nations said last week that the UAE could upgrade its defense capabilities and was in talks with the United States.

Lloyd Austin told Sheikh Mohammed, the UAE’s de facto ruler, that the United States would continue to provide early warning intelligence and co-operate in air defense.

Attacks on the region’s trade and tourism hub, the United Arab Emirates, are an escalation of the Yemeni war, in which Houthis have repeatedly launched missile and drone strikes on Saudi Arabia. The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the government from the capital, Sanaa.

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