DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—The United Arab Emirates (UAE) intercepted and destroyed two Houthi ballistic missiles targeting the Persian Gulf country on Jan. 24 with no casualties, its defense ministry stated, following a deadly attack from the Iran-backed Houthis a week earlier.
For more than six years, the Houthis and a Saudi-led coalition that includes the UAE have been battling for control of Yemen. The Houthis have repeatedly carried out cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia. They also launched an unprecedented assault on the UAE on Jan. 17.
“The remnants of the intercepted ballistic missiles fell in separate areas around Abu Dhabi,” the ministry stated, noting that it was taking necessary protective measures against all attacks.
UAE newspaper The National cited residents reporting flashes in the sky over the capital at roughly 4:30 a.m. local time.
The Jan. 24 attack was the second on UAE soil since last week’s strike that hit a fuel depot in Abu Dhabi, killing three people and causing a fire near its international airport.
Houthi-run Al Masirah television reported that the group, which was designated as a terrorist group by the Trump administration only to have that designation revoked by the Biden administration, would announce within hours the details of a “wide military operation” against Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Saudi state media outlets said on Jan. 24 that the coalition intercepted a ballistic missile, with remnants from the missile damaging workshops and vehicles in the southern region of the kingdom. It said late on Jan. 23 that a ballistic missile fell in the south, injuring two foreigners and causing damage in an industrial area.
The U.N., which along with the United States has struggled to engineer a ceasefire for Yemen, has voiced concern over escalations and called for maximum restraint from all parties.
The Saudi-led coalition said it has ramped up air strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen. At least 60 people were killed in a strike on a temporary detention center in northern Saada Governorate, Yemen, on Jan. 21, and about 20 were killed in the Houthi-held capital of Sana’a, Yemen, in an operation on Jan. 18.
The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015, months after the Houthis launched a coup and ousted the internationally recognized government from Sana’a.
The UAE had largely reduced its presence in Yemen in 2019 amid a military stalemate, but Emirati-backed Yemeni forces have recently joined battles against the Houthis in key energy-producing provinces in Yemen.