The UAE fends off missile attacks as Israeli President visits By Reuters


© Reuters. Israeli President Isaac Herzog meets with Crown Prince Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 30 January 2022. Mohamed Al Hammadi / Ministry of Presidential Affairs / WAM / Handout via REUTERS


By Mahmoud Mourad and Alexander Cornwell

DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates said on Monday that it intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Iran-adapted Houthi movement when the UAE hosted Israeli President Isaac Herzog on his first official visit https: //www.reuters .com / world / israel-president-hopes-more-regional-normalization-first-uae-visit-2022-01-31 to the Gulf business and tourism hub.

In the third such attack on the U.S.-allied Gulf state in the past two weeks, the Houthi military spokesman said they fired Zulfiqar missiles at Abu Dhabi and drones at Dubai.

He reiterated a warning to residents and businesses to “stay away from vital headquarters and facilities” in the UAE, which prides itself on being a safe business paradise and global tourism destination.

The United States condemned the attack – which followed an attack on a fuel depot in Abu Dhabi on January 17 that killed three people – in an escalation of the Yemeni war between the Houthis and a Saudi-led coalition that includes the United Arab Emirates.

A senior Emirati official described the attacks as “useless” provocations that would be treated to protect national security and sovereignty. “Those who test the UAE are mistaken,” the official, Anwar Gargash, said in a Twitter post (NYSE :).

The United Arab Emirates Defense Ministry said the missile was intercepted 20 minutes past midnight and that its waste fell on an uninhabited area. It did not say whether it was aimed at Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

It happened while the President of Israel was visiting Abu Dhabi, where he discussed security and bilateral relations with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“While the President of Israel is visiting the UAE to build bridges and promote stability throughout the region, the Houthis continue to launch attacks that threaten civilians,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a tweet.

Herzog continued his visit and was on Monday for the Expo 2020 World Fair in Dubai.

He expressed hope in a speech that more countries would normalize relations with Israel, as the United Arab Emirates did when it, along with Bahrain, forged ties in 2020 under pacts negotiated by the United States, called the “Abraham Treaty”.


The agreements have built a new axis of security and defense cooperation between Israel and Sunni Muslim Gulf states, mainly based on common concerns over Shia Muslim Iran, including its network of proxies and its ballistic missile program.

The Saudi-led coalition accuses Iran of supplying weapons to the Houthis, an accusation rejected by both the group and Tehran. The Yemen conflict is seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Israel participated in a naval exercise last year with UAE , Bahraini and American forces. Emirati and Israeli state-owned arms manufacturers have signed agreements to jointly develop a advanced drone defense system and unmanned military vessels.

The Houthis have repeatedly carried out missile and drone launches against Saudi Arabia during the nearly seven-year war, before expanding attacks on the UAE this month.

The United Arab Emirates had largely ended its military presence in 2019, but maintains dominance through Yemeni forces, it arms and trains, and which recently joined the fight against the Houthis in key energy-producing regions.

The coalition has also recently carried out deadly airstrikes on Houthi-controlled areas during the war, which has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

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