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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 24, (Agencies): The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry Monday emphatically denounced the cowardly terrorist attacks launched by Houthi militias by firing drones and ballistic missiles against civilians and civilian targets in Saudi Arabia and UAE. In a statement, the ministry said Houthi militias’ continued targeting of civilians and civilian areas, and their insistence on defying the international community, breaching international humanitarian law and deliberately destabilizing regional security and stability, underline the serious behavior of these militias. Therefore, it maintained, the international community, especially the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), needs to take urgent action to put an end to this aggressive behavior in order to maintain international security and stability. It emphasized that the State of Kuwait fully stands side by side with Saudi Arabia and UAE, and absolutely backs all steps they are taking to maintain their security and stability.
The United Arab Emirates and the U.S. military intercepted two ballistic missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels over the skies of Abu Dhabi early Monday, authorities said, the second attack in a week that targeted the Emirati capital. The missile fire further escalates tensions across the Arabian Gulf, which previously had seen a series of assaults near – but never indisputably on – Emirati soil. It comes during Yemen’s years long war and the collapse of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. American troops at Al-Dhafra Air Base in the capital took shelter in bunkers during the attack and fired back with their own Patriot missiles.
The attacks threaten the business-friendly, tourism ocused efforts of the Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula also home to Dubai. For years, the country has marketed itself as a safe corner of an otherwise-dangerous neighborhood. Videos on social media showed the sky over Abu Dhabi light up before dawn Monday, with what appeared to be interceptor missiles racing into the clouds to target the incoming fire. Two explosions later thundered through the city.
The videos corresponded to known features of Abu Dhabi. The state-run WAM news agency said that missile fragments fell harmlessly over Abu Dhabi. The Emirates is “ready to deal with any threats and … it takes all necessary measures to protect the state from all attacks,” WAM quoted the UAE Defense Ministry as saying. A U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations, acknowledged the assistance of American Patriot missile batteries prevented the Houthi missiles from striking targets in Abu Dhabi. Videos on social media suggested outgoing interceptor fire came from the base.
The missile fire disrupted traffic into Abu Dhabi International Airport, home to the long-haul carrier Etihad, for about an hour after the attack. Houthi military spokesman Yehia Sarei claimed the attack in a televised statement, saying the rebels targeted several sites in the UAE with both Zulfiqar ballistic missiles and drones, including Al-Dhafra Air Base. He warned the UAE would continue to be a target “as long as attacks on the Yemeni people continue.” “We warn foreign companies and investors to leave the Emirates!” Sarei shouted from a podium. “This has become an unsafe country!”