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Pentagon Sends Destroyer, Stealth Jets To Defend UAE Amid Houthi Attacks

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Following on the heels of the latest Houthi ballistic missile and drone attack to target the UAE, which was timed during the Israeli President’s first ever official visit, and which was the third major attack in under a month, the United States has announced it is deploying military assets to help defend its gulf ally.

The United States will send a guided-missile destroyer and fifth-generation fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the wake of recent missile attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, Washington’s top military official has said,” according to Al Jazeera.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin informed Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Abu bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a Tuesday phone call that the Pentagon is deploying the “guided-missile destroyer USS Cole to partner with the UAE Navy before making a port call in Abu Dhabi.”

The Pentagon phone transcript included a pledge for US fifth-generation fighter aircraft to defend and “assist against the current threat”. This will include F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lighting II stealth fighter jets. Austin stressed that it sends a “clear signal that the United States stands with the UAE as a longstanding strategic partner.”

Prior attacks from Yemen came on January 17 and January 24, which left three foreign workers dead and multiple injured in the UAE capital. The Houthis have meanwhile vowed to expand their military operations against the country.

Washington has long accused Iran of delivering increasingly sophisticated missiles and drones to the Shia Houthis, which is giving the militant group longer reach to hit places like Dubai.

One of the January missile and drone attacks launched out of Yemen reportedly resulted in a projectile impacting a facility that was a mere miles from a base where American troops were stationed.

During that attack, which came last week, the US fired patriot missiles to intercept the inbound threat.

Meanwhile, the Houthis have vowed to destabilize the UAE, once thought among the safest and economically prosperous places in the Middle East: “The UAE ceases to be a safe place so long as the tools of the Israeli enemy in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are used against our people and our country,” said Houthi spokesman Yahya Al Saree in a televised announcement.

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