The United Arab Emirates (UAE) intercepted and destroyed two ballistic missiles aimed at Abu Dhabi early on Monday morning, according to a statement issued by the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency.
According to the statement, the two missiles were shot down by Emirati air defenses and harmlessly fell to the ground in the capital city’s outskirts. WAM indicated that the missiles were fired from northern Yemen, an area controlled by the Houthi militant group.
Saudi media announced that a third missile, aimed at the southern Saudi city of Dhahran al-Janoub, was shot down by Saudi air defenses on Monday morning. However, the missile injured two immigrant residents during its fall and caused property damage within the city’s industrial area.
A spokesman for the Houthis claimed that the group had launched attacks targeting Saudi Arabia and the UAE on Monday, although no details were given.
The Houthis have repeatedly launched missile attacks against Saudi Arabia and the UAE in response to the two nations’ participation in the war in Yemen. In 2015, Saudi Arabia and the UAE led an international military intervention in support of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Although the intervention was initially portrayed by then-Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) as a short-term operation that would achieve victory in under two months, the coalition’s mission has continued for the past seven years. The Saudi-led coalition has been implicated in a number of war crimes by international observers throughout its intervention. The United States, which initially offered direct support to the coalition, officially suspended its “offensive” aid at the beginning of President Joe Biden’s term.
Although the Houthis have repeatedly launched missiles against Saudi Arabia, Houthi strikes on the UAE have been less frequent. Last week, however, a Houthi drone struck a building in Abu Dhabi, killing three civilians and injuring six. The Saudi-led coalition carried out a larger series of airstrikes in Yemen in retaliation for the attack. At least sixty Yemenis were killed when a detention center in Saada was bombed by coalition aircraft, and a similar attack on Sana’a, Yemen’s Houthi-occupied capital, led to twenty more casualties.
The UAE’s Defense Ministry indicated that it was “ready to deal with any threats” and will take “all necessary measures to protect the state from all attacks.”
Although no Emiratis were injured during the attack, the Abu Dhabi International Airport, home to the state-owned Etihad airline, experienced delays for more than an hour.
Trevor Filseth is a current and foreign affairs writer for the National Interest.