State Department Cites Missile, Drone Threat in UAE Travel Warning

By Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly is a reporter based in Australia. She covers world news with a focus on U.S. news. Contact her at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com
January 27, 2022 Updated: January 27, 2022

The U.S. State Department said an updated travel advisory for United Arab Emirates on Friday that people should reconsider travel due to the threat of missile or drone attacks.

“The possibility of attacks affecting U.S. citizens and interests in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula remains an ongoing, serious concern,” the state department said in its advisory Friday.

“Rebel groups operating in Yemen have stated an intent to attack neighboring countries, including the UAE, using missiles and drones. Recent missile and drone attacks targeted populated areas and civilian infrastructure.”

The move comes after Yemen’s Houthi movement, aligned with Iran, launched a missile attack at the UAE on Jan. 24. U.S. and Emirati officials said the attack was seeking to strike a base hosting the U.S. military. The UAE intercepted and destroyed the two Houthi ballistic missiles with no casualties, its defense ministry stated.

A Houthi military spokesperson said the group had fired Zulfiqar ballistic missiles at al-Dhafra airbase, used by U.S. forces, and other “sensitive targets.” Houthis had also launched drones toward Dubai, the spokesperson said.

It marked the second attack in a week. The former attack, which involved ballistic missiles and armed drones, killed three people in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Iran-backed Houthis for control of Yemen over more than six years.

The updated travel advisory maintains the highest level warning (Level 4: Do not Travel).

The department also noted that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an advisory Notice to Airmen and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation “[d]ue to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including the United Arab Emirates.”

The State Department previously urged against traveling to the UAE due to COVID-19.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Mimi Nguyen Ly is a reporter based in Australia. She covers world news with a focus on U.S. news. Contact her at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com