The United Arab Emirates intercepted and destroyed two ballistic missiles launched by rebels in Yemen on Monday, a week after a deadly attack carried out by these insurgents against the capital Abu Dhabi, violence which raises fears of a new escalation.
“Air defenses intercepted and destroyed two ballistic missiles launched by the Houthis terrorist group against the Emirates”, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
“The attack caused no casualties, and debris from the destroyed missiles fell in different locations around Abu Dhabi,” he added, pointing out that the Emirates “take all measures to protect the country from all attacks”.
In Yemen, Houthi spokesman Mohammed Aboulsalam announced on Twitter that he was preparing to give details of a “military operation”. “The Yemeni Armed Forces will reveal in the coming hours the details of a military operation carried out in depth in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia”, he said.
On January 17, Yemeni rebels claimed responsibility for a drone and missile attack on oil installations and Abu Dhabi airport, which left three people dead. The Emirates threatened to retaliate to this attack.
The Houthis have carried out multiple operations against Saudi Arabia, but the January 17 attack on Abu Dhabi was the first acknowledged by the United Arab Emirates inside its borders. It was the Houthis’ first deadly attack in the Emirates.
In more than seven years of war, all parties to the conflict in Yemen have been accused of “war crimes” by UN experts. Implicated for multiple “blunders”, the coalition has recognized “mistakes” and accuses the rebels of using civilians as human shields.
The UN has been trying in vain for several years to end this devastating conflict which, according to it, has killed 377,000 people and pushed a population of 30 million to the brink of large-scale famine.