The United Arab Emirates claims to have intercepted and destroyed two ballistic missiles fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels over Abu Dhabi, marking the latest escalation in Yemen's long-running conflict. The incident on Monday comes a week after three people were murdered in another Houthi drone and missile attack on Abu Dhabi.
"The remnants of the intercepted ballistic missiles landed in distinct regions near Abu Dhabi," the UAE defence ministry said in a statement on Monday, adding that it "is prepared to deal with any threats and... takes all necessary steps to safeguard the state."
Meanwhile, official media in Saudi Arabia said late Sunday that a Houthi ballistic missile had struck the kingdom's south, hurting two individuals – a Bangladeshi and a Sudanese national – and causing damage to workshops and cars in an industrial area. According to a coalition statement, another missile was intercepted and destroyed over Dhahram al-Janub.
The Houthis said they targeted the Dhafra airfield in Abu Dhabi as well as "vital and important" facilities in the Dubai area, with military spokesman Yahya Saree stating the operation "achieved its goals with excellent accuracy" in a televised statement. An attack on Dubai was not reported by UAE officials.
"During the following phase, we are prepared to broaden the operation and meet escalation with escalation," Saree added. The US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced on Monday that "several Patriot interceptors" were used to "engage" two missiles intended for Al Dhafra airfield, which houses roughly 2,000 American servicemembers.
"Our combined efforts were effective in preventing both missiles from landing into the base. In a statement, CENTCOM spokesperson Bill Urban claimed there were no US casualties.