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Ballistic Houthis

A US military official acknowledged the assistance of American Patriot missile batteries that prevented the Houthi missiles from striking targets in Abu Dhabi. The Houthi military spokesman, Yehia Sarei, confirmed the attacks, saying the rebels targeted several sites in the UAE with both Zulfiqar ballistic missiles and drones.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

In the midst of a war that has been waged for several years, the Houthi rebels of Yemen have gone ballistic, so to speak. To the extent that the United Arab Emirates and the US military intercepted two ballistic missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels over the skies of Abu Dhabi early on Monday. It is an index to the volatile scenario that this was the second attack in a week that has targeted the Emirati capital.

The ballistic offensive has verily escalated the tension across the Persian Gulf, which previously had witnessed a series of assaults near ~ but never on ~ Emirati soil. The latest escalation of the protracted war has happened with the collapse of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers and its ambitious programme of nuclear proliferation.

On Monday, American troops at Al-Dhafra airbase took shelter in bunkers during the attack and fired back with their own Patriot missiles. The attacks are a threat to the economic interests of the Emirates, pertaining in the main to business and tourism. For years, the country has showcased itself as a safe corridor in an otherwise dangerous neighbourhood. That myth has now been shattered.

The Emirates constitute a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arab Peninsula, also home to Dubai. According to the state-run WAM news agency, the 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,” the UAE defence ministry said.

A US military official acknowledged the assistance of American Patriot missile batteries that prevented the Houthi missiles from striking targets in Abu Dhabi. The Houthi military spokesman, Yehia Sarei, confirmed the attacks, saying the rebels targeted several sites in the UAE with both Zulfiqar ballistic missiles and drones. He warned that the UAE would continue to be a target “as long as attacks on the people of Yemen continue.” “We warn foreign companies and investors to leave the Emirates,” Sarei screamed from a podium. “This has become an unsafe country.” And so it has.

The missile fire disrupted traffic at Abu Dhabi international airport, home to the long-haul carrier, Etihad, for about an hour after the attack. After this, the Dubai Financial Market closed nearly two per cent lower, with almost every company trading down. There was a “slight fall” as well in the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

The fallout of the ballistic missile attack was, therefore, severe. The missile attacks have escalated tensions across the Persian Gulf. Videos on social media showed the sky over Abu Dhabi light up before dawn on Monday, with what appeared to be intercept missiles racing into the clouds to target the incoming fire. With videos corresponding to known features of Abu Dhabi’s topography, two explosions thundered through the city.