Authorities say the UAE and the United States military intercepted two ballistic missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels over the skies of Abu Dhabi early Monday, the second strike on the Emirati capital in a week.
The missile fire heightens tensions in the Persian Gulf, which have already seen a series of attacks near — but never indisputably on — Emirati territory. It comes at a critical time in Yemen’s years-long conflict, as well as the failure of Iran’s nuclear deal with Western powers.
During the strike, 2,000 American forces at Al-Dhafra Air Base in the capital took cover in bunkers and fired Patriot missiles, a rare retaliation. The attacks put the Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula that includes Dubai, in jeopardy of their business-friendly and tourism-focused activities. For years, the country has positioned itself as a safe haven in violent neighborhoods.
The sky over Abu Dhabi lit up before daybreak Monday, according to social media videos, with what appeared to be interceptor missiles rushing into the clouds to attack the incoming fire. After that, the city was rocked by two more explosions. The videos were based on well-known Abu Dhabi landmarks.
Missile fragments fell harmlessly above Abu Dhabi, according to the state-run WAM news agency.’
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