United Arab Emirates says it will intercept two ballistic missiles over Abu Dhabi

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) -The United Arab Emirates intercepted two ballistic missiles claimed by the Houthi rebels in Yemen in the skies of Abu Dhabi earlier Monday, officials said.

Missile fires exacerbate tensions across the Persian Gulf, which had previously experienced a series of assaults near the soil of Emirati in the midst of many years of war in Yemen and the collapse of Iran’s nuclear trade with world powers. increase.

The attack threatens the business-friendly, tourism-focused efforts of Emirates, the seven Emirates of the Arabian Peninsula, which is also home to Dubai. For years, the country has touted itself as a safe corner of an otherwise dangerous neighborhood.

In a social media video, the sky in Abu Dhabi brightened before dawn on Monday, and interceptor missiles appeared to jump into the clouds and aim for the incoming fire. After that, two explosions struck the city. The video corresponded to a known feature of Abu Dhabi.

State-owned WAM news outlets said missile debris had fallen harmlessly into Abu Dhabi.

“We are ready to deal with all threats and have taken all necessary steps to protect our nation from all attacks,” said the United Arab Emirates Department of Defense.

A missile fire disrupted traffic to Abu Dhabi International Airport, home of the long-range airline Etihad Airways, about an hour after the attack.

Houthi spokesman Yehia Sarei said the rebels had targeted the UAE with both ballistic missiles and drones, claiming the attack in a statement on television. He warned that the UAE would remain a target “as long as the attacks on the Yemeni people continue.”

“We warn foreign companies and investors to leave Emirates!” Saray shouted from the podium. “This has become a dangerous country!”

The US Embassy in Abu Dhabi later issued a security warning to Americans living in the UAE, warning citizens to “maintain a high level of security awareness.” The alert included instructions on how to deal with a missile attack that has never been seen in Dubai, which is studded with skyscrapers and the UAE, home of its long-haul airline Emirates.

The Emirati Defense Ministry later tweeted a black-and-white video stating that the F-16 had attacked the ballistic missile launcher used in the Abu Dhabi attack. The Ministry of Defense has identified this location near Al-Jawah, Yemen, about 1,400 km (870 miles) southwest of Abu Dhabi.

The F-16 flies in both Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, but not in Saudi Arabia. The ministry did not recognize which country carried out its mission.

The attack occurred a week after Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed to attack the Emirati capital, targeting the airport and the fuel depot of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in the Musaffah district. The attack on the fuel depot killed three people and injured six.

A new high-resolution satellite image taken by AP from Planet Labs PBC shows repair work still underway at the fuel depot on Saturday. Emirati authorities have not published images of the attacked site and have not allowed journalists to show them.

A Saudi-led coalition that recently boosted a penal airstrike targeting Yemen by the United Arab Emirates, knocking out the poorest countries in the Arab world from the Internet and killing more than 80 people in detention centers.

The Houthis threatened to take revenge on Emirates and Saudi Arabia for these attacks. On Sunday, a Saudi-led coalition said a ballistic missile launched by the Houthi landed in the industrial area of ​​Jazan, Saudi Arabia, slightly injuring foreigners.

The hard-line Iranian daily Kayhan published a front-page article citing Houthi officials under the headline that the UAE will be attacked again just Sunday, with the editor-in-chief appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Tower. “

The 2017 newspaper faced a two-day ban after Dubai posted the headline Houthi’s “next target.”


Associated Press writers Isabel DeBre, Malak Harb and Lujain Jo in Dubai, Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, and Samy Magdy in Cairo contributed to this report.