The US will deploy a guided missile destroyer and state-of-the-art fighter jets to help defend the United Arab Emirates after a series of missile attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen, a US statement said Wednesday.
The deployment, to “assist the UAE against the current threat”, follows a phone call between Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the US embassy in the UAE said.
The UAE, part of the Arab Coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthis, suffered three missile attacks last month with the first killing three oil workers.
The second targeted al-Dhafra air base, where US forces are stationed, prompting them to fire Patriot interceptors to help shoot down the missiles as air crews scrambled to bunkers.
The guided missile destroyer USS Cole will partner with the UAE Navy and make a port call in Abu Dhabi, the statement said, while the US will also deploy fifth-generation fighter planes.
Other actions include “continuing to provide early warning intelligence”, it added.
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