France to reinforce UAE defense system after Houthi attacks

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France said on Friday it had agreed to participate in the reinforcement of the United Arab Emirates’ defense system, including the deployment of Rafale jets, following Iran-backed Houthi attacks.

“The United Arab Emirates were victims of serious attacks on their territory in January. In order to show our solidarity with this friendly country, France has decided to provide military support, in particular to protect the airspace against any intrusion,” French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly wrote on Twitter.

The French Armed Forces ministry added that operations would be conducted from the al-Dhafra air base, working in close co-ordination with the emirates, with a view to detect and intercept any drone or missile attacks.

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The United Arab Emirates said late on Wednesday that it had intercepted three drones that entered its airspace over unpopulated areas earlier in the day, in the latest attack on the Gulf commercial and tourism hub in the past few weeks.

Earlier this week, the US had also said it would send fighter jets to assist the UAE following missile attacks on the Gulf state launched by Yemen’s Houthi movement, including a foiled attack aimed at a base hosting US forces.

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