US to deploy fighter jets to aid UAE after Houthis attacktext_fields
Dubai: The United States announced on Wednesday, that it will deploy a guided missile destroyer and state-of-the-art fighter jets to help the United Arab Emirates defend itself following a series of missile attacks by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, AFP reported.
The decision to assist the gulf state against the current threat comes after 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 Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels, suffered its third missile attack in consecutive weeks on Monday.
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.
The rebel attacks have opened a new front in Yemen's seven-year war, which has killed hundreds of thousands directly or indirectly and displaced millions.
Three foreign workers were killed in a drone-and-missile assault targeting Abu Dhabi's oil facilities and airport on January 17, triggering a salvo of deadly air strikes in retaliation.
On January 24, US forces stationed at Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra air base fire Patriot interceptors and scrambled to bunkers as two ballistic missiles were shot down over the city.
And on Monday, a third missile attack was thwarted during the visit to the UAE of Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
The US, a supporter of the Saudi-led coalition, intends the deployment to be "a clear signal that the United States stands with the UAE as a long-standing strategic partner", the statement said.
The rebel attacks have raised Gulf tensions further at a time when international talks over Iran's nuclear programme are stumbling, and have helped push oil prices to seven-year highs.
The Huthis began attacking UAE interests after a series of defeats on the ground in Yemen, inflicted by the UAE-trained Giants Brigades militia.
Yemen's civil war began in 2014 when the Huthis seized Sanaa, prompting Saudi-led forces to intervene to prop up the governmen the following year.