US to send warship, fighter jets to UAE after Houthi attacks

By Al-Mashareq and AFP

The US Navy guided missile destroyer USS Cole is seen here in a file photo from April 2002. [Tina M. Ackerman/US Navy/AFP]

The US Navy guided missile destroyer USS Cole is seen here in a file photo from April 2002. [Tina M. Ackerman/US Navy/AFP]

DUBAI -- The United States will deploy a guided missile destroyer and state-of-the-art fighter jets as part of a "range of actions" to help defend the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Pentagon said Tuesday (February 1).

The move follows a spate of attacks on the Gulf state launched from Yemen by the Iran-backed Houthis.

The deployment, to "assist the UAE against the current threat", follows a phone call between US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a Pentagon statement said.

It comes as "a clear signal that the United States stands with the UAE as a long-standing strategic partner", the statement added.

The UAE, part of the Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting the Houthis in support of Yemen's legitimate government, suffered its third missile attack since January 17 at the group's hands on Monday.

The United States will continue to provide early warning intelligence and collaborate on air defence, and will deploy 5th generation fighter aircraft to assist the UAE, the Pentagon statement said.

It also will send the US Navy guided missile destroyer USS Cole to partner with the UAE Navy, it said.

The USS Cole will later make a port call in Abu Dhabi.

The US warship has been active in the region, conducting patrols and maritime security operations to ensure the free flow of legitimate trade and disrupt the transport of illicit cargo that often funds terrorism and other unlawful activity.

On January 23, the USS Cole stopped a ship carrying 40 tonnes of urea, a fertiliser that can be used to make explosives, as it travelled from Iran along a route previously used to smuggle weapons to the Houthis in Yemen, the US Navy's 5th Fleet said.

'Unwavering commitment'

The Houthis began attacking UAE interests after a series of defeats on the ground in Yemen, inflicted by the UAE-trained Giants Brigades.

On January 24, US forces stationed at Abu Dhabi's al-Dhafra air base fired Patriot interceptors as two ballistic missiles were shot down over the city.

Three foreign workers were killed in a drone-and-missile assault targeting Abu Dhabi's oil facilities and airport on January 17.

The United States reaffirmed its commitment to help strengthen the UAE's defence after the attacks, with US State Department spokesman Ned Price describing the incidents as "a troubling escalation".

"Our commitment to the security of the UAE is unwavering and we stand beside our Emirati partners against all threats to their territory," National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a January 17 statement.

The United States will "work with the UAE and international partners to hold [the Houthis] accountable", he said.

Do you like this article?

0 Comment(s)

Comment Policy * Denotes Required Field 1500 / 1500