by Mohamad Ali Harissi
Agence France Presse
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AFP) — The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday stated it prevented one other drone assault over its territory, after Washington stated it should ship a warship and fighter jets to assist defend its Gulf ally as battle with Yemeni rebels intensifies.
The UAE, a serious monetary hub and a part of the Saudi-led coalition combating Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels for seven years, introduced the “interception and destruction” of three “hostile” drones on Wednesday, the fourth comparable assault concentrating on the rich state in three weeks.
Though the most recent assault was not instantly claimed, it follows missile and drone assaults the Huthis stated they carried out this yr. Three folks have been killed.
The US deployment, to “help the UAE in opposition to the present menace”, follows a telephone name between Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the US embassy within the UAE stated.
Below the preparations, the guided missile destroyer USS Cole will accomplice with the UAE Navy and make a port name in Abu Dhabi, whereas the US may even deploy “fifth-generation” warplanes, that are probably the most superior.
Different actions embrace “persevering with to supply early warning intelligence (and) collaborating on air defence”, the embassy stated.
The USS Cole, presently in port in Bahrain, was bombed by Al-Qaeda within the Yemeni port of Aden in October 2000, killing 17 sailors.
Austin and the crown prince mentioned the Huthi assaults, which “additionally threatened US and Emirati armed forces stationed at Al Dhafra air base,” the embassy added.
– ‘Aggression’ –
Within the rebel-held Yemeni capital Sanaa, senior Huthi official Sultan al-Samei dismissed the US assist.
“These new forces which have arrived or will arrive to the UAE don’t frighten us,” he stated.
“We won’t cease what we’ve got began, defending ourselves… and we won’t cease till the aggression in opposition to our nation stops, in addition to when the forces supported by the UAE withdraw.”
The insurgent assaults on the UAE have added a brand new dimension to Yemen’s long-running battle, which has killed an estimated 377,000 folks immediately or not directly and displaced thousands and thousands.
Rights teams have lengthy criticised the coalition for civilian casualties in its aerial bombardment.
In accordance with the Yemen Knowledge Mission, an unbiased tracker, there have been virtually 9,000 civilian casualties from coalition air raids on Yemen since 2015.
However final month the battle started to hit house for Emiratis.
Three overseas staff had been killed in a drone and missile assault concentrating on Abu Dhabi’s oil amenities and airport on January 17, triggering a salvo of lethal air strikes in retaliation.
On January 24, US forces stationed at Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra air base fired Patriot interceptors and scrambled to bunkers as two ballistic missiles had been shot down over the town, the UAE capital.
And on Monday, a 3rd missile assault was thwarted throughout a go to to the UAE by Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
– ‘Clear sign’ –
The US intends its deployment to be “a transparent sign that the USA stands with the UAE as a long-standing strategic accomplice”, the embassy stated.
President Joe Biden withdrew US assist for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen after taking workplace early final yr, reversing his predecessor’s coverage of offering logistical help.
Nevertheless, the US State Division introduced in November the approval of the sale of $650 million price of air-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia to assist the nation shield itself from Huthi drone assaults.
A $23-billion US arms package deal to the UAE, together with F-35 fighter jets, has but to be finalised, with the Emiratis threatening to scrap the deal over stringent situations.
The insurgent assaults have elevated Gulf tensions at a time when worldwide talks over Iran’s nuclear programme are stumbling, and have helped push oil costs to seven-year highs.
They started after a collection of defeats on the bottom in Yemen, inflicted by the UAE-trained Giants Brigades militia.
In early January, the rebels seized a UAE-flagged ship within the Crimson Sea, saying it was carrying navy tools — a declare denied by the Emirates.
Yemen’s civil battle started in 2014 when the Huthis seized the capital Sanaa, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene in assist of the internationally-recognised authorities the next yr.
The UAE, one of many world’s largest arms patrons, introduced a redeployment from Yemen in 2019 however stays an influential participant.
The UN calls Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, with thousands and thousands on the point of famine.
© Agence France-Presse