WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday condemned missile attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on targets in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, calling the incidents a “troubling escalation” of the conflict.
Missiles were intercepted with US help over the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi in the early hours of Monday, while others fired on Saudi Arabia in regions bordering Yemen left two people wounded.
US Central Command said in a statement that its forces at Al-Dhafra airbase near Abu Dhabi had “engaged two inbound missile threats with multiple Patriot interceptors coincident to efforts by the armed forces of the UAE.”
The missile launches came a week after the Iran-backed Houthis killed three people in a drone and missile assault on Abu Dhabi, triggering a volley of deadly airstrikes on Yemen.
“We reaffirm our commitment to help strengthen the defense of our Saudi and Emirati partners,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
“These attacks on the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as recent airstrikes in Yemen that killed civilians, represent a troubling escalation that only exacerbates the suffering of the Yemeni people,” Price said.
“We call on all parties to the conflict to commit to a ceasefire, abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law… and participate fully in an inclusive UN-led peace process.”
Centcom spokesman Captain Bill Urban said that US forces had “set a heightened alert posture at the time of the attack, the second in the span of a week, which did involve airmen using available bunkers.”
— Aleph א (@no_itsmyturn) January 23, 2022
“US forces at Al-Dhafra remain vigilant and ready to respond in case of any follow-on attacks,” he added.
In Yemen’s protracted civil war, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and others support the government against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
MOD Joint Operations Command announces that at 04:10 hrs Yemen time an F-16 destroyed a ballistic missile launcher in Al Jawf, immediately after it launched two ballistic missiles at Abu Dhabi. They were successfully intercepted by our air defence systems. Video attached. pic.twitter.com/laFEq3qqLm
— وزارة الدفاع |MOD UAE (@modgovae) January 24, 2022