Emirates intercepts two missiles launched by Yemeni rebels

The United Arab Emirates intercepted two ballistic missiles that targeted the capital Abu Dhabi, the Defense Ministry said on Monday, blaming the attack on Houthi rebels in Yemen.

“This attack caused no casualties, and debris from the intercepted and destroyed ballistic missiles fell in various locations in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi,” the ministry said in a statement.

These missiles were launched “by the Houthi terrorist group towards the country”, he said.

Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abulsalam announced on Twitter that he was about to give details of a “military operation”.

“The Yemeni armed forces will reveal in the coming hours the details of an in-depth military operation in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia,” he said.

The Emirates are part of a Saudi-led military coalition that has supported the government of Yemen since 2015 against the Iran-backed Houthis.

This is the second attack on the United Arab Emirates carried out by the Houthis in a week.

Yemeni rebels claimed responsibility for a drone and missile attack on January 17 that hit oil installations and Abu Dhabi airport and killed three people.

The Houthis have carried out multiple operations against Saudi Arabia, but the January 17 attack on Abu Dhabi was the first acknowledged by the United Arab Emirates inside its borders.

It was followed by a series of coalition airstrikes in Yemen and ground offensives by government forces.

One of the air raids killed 14 people in the capital Sanaa, and at least three children were killed in an attack on Hodeidah, through which passes most of the international aid intended for the country.

The coalition, on the other hand, denied any responsibility in a strike on Saturday against a prison held by the Houthis which left at least 70 dead and a hundred injured in Saada, the rebel stronghold in the northwest of the country.

In more than seven years of war, all parties to the conflict have been accused of “war crimes” by UN experts. Implicated for multiple “blunders”, the coalition has recognized “errors” and accuses the rebels of using civilians as human shields.

The UN has been trying in vain for several years to end this devastating conflict which, according to it, has killed 377,000 people and pushed a population of 30 million to the brink of large-scale famine.

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