The United Arab Emirates on Monday intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants as Israeli President Isaac Herzog was visiting — the third attack this month.
The Middle Eastern country’s state-run media said the “attack did not result in any losses, as the remnants of the ballistic missile fell outside the populated areas.”
A US patriot missile battery was engaged, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at Monday’s briefing, but ground-to-air-missiles fired by UAE forces successfully hit the target.
”We of course stand with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and our gulf partners in defending against threats to their peoples and their territories,” Kirby said.
The attack came as Herzog was visiting the capital Abu Dhabi where he discussed security and relations with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The Israeli president left the country later Monday.
“While Israel’s president is visiting the UAE to build bridges and promote stability across the region, the Houthis continue to launch attacks that threaten civilians,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
Houthi military spokesman Yehia Sarei said that rebels targeted “sensitive sites” in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with Zulfiqar ballistic missiles and drones.
He also said the group will target the headquarters of international companies in further attacks.
“The Emirates will remain an adversary as long as the actions of the Israeli enemy continue in Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” Sarei said during the press conference.
The Houthi attacks are escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf as world powers meet in Vienna to revive Iran’s nuclear deal and fighting continues in Yemen between the Houthis and Saudi-backed forces.