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Terrorism

UAE, Saudi Arabia thwart separate Houthi attacks

Published: Updated:

The Arab Coalition has revealed it destroyed a ballistic missile launched toward Saudi Arabia's Dhahran Al Janub early on Monday, while the UAE said they downed two missiles launched by the Iran-backed Houthis targeting Abu Dhabi.

Shrapnel from the destroyed missile fired at Saudi Arabia landed in the town’s industrial zone and material loss was reported, but no injuries or fatalities.

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The Coalition stated that they had destroyed the launch pad where ballistic missiles were fired from in Yemen’s Al-Jawf.

The UAE's Defense Ministry said they themselves intercepted two ballistic missiles fired at Abu Dhabi, without reported casualty or injury.

The attacks come less than a week after a deadly attack on Abu Dhabi was claimed by the Iran-backed Houthis.

Yemen’s Houthis used cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as drones, on the January 17 attack on Abu Dhabi that killed three people, the UAE ambassador to the US detailed.

As a result, the UAE immediately pressed the Biden administration to re-designate the Houthis as a terror group. US President Joe Biden had made it one of his first foreign policy priorities to lift the designation and remove Houthi officials from the blacklist.

But analysts and former US officials say the move only emboldened the Houthis, who have increased their attacks on civilian targets across the Gulf, specifically the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The Arab Coalition has been engaged in an aerial campaign against the Houthis, who are demanding international legitimacy and control of the government.

Last week, several reports and international agencies insisted that air strikes led to civilian casualties in a detention center in Yemen’s Sa’dah. The Arab Coalition responded that the reports were “baseless and unfounded.”

During a call between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan last week, Blinken said Washington was committed to helping its Gulf partners “improve their capabilities to defend against threats from Yemen and elsewhere in the region and underscored the importance of mitigating civilian harm.”

Read more: US considering re-designating Iran-backed Houthis as a terror group, Biden says

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