As Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen intensifies their attack on UAE accusing it of supporting Saudi Arabia’war in Yemen, the gulf country has requested help from the US inorder to avoid the same fate as Saudi Arabia where it’s oil storage facilities and airports have been bombed.
It was reported that US was sending advanced fighter jets and missile guided destroyer to UAE to help it counter escalating threats from Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis after it launched series of ballistic missiles and drones on gulf country.
In a phone call between US defense secretary Austin and UAE crown Prince, the US defense secretary promised to send US advanced fighter jets like f-22 raptors and f-35s lightening II combat jets to UAE to assist against current threat according to the read out from Pentagon.
US says that the deployment sends a clear signal United States stands with UAE as a long standing strategic partner. This deployment comes after UAE experienced a third ballistic missile attack on Monday this week forcing US to deploy Patriot defense systems to defend against the attack.
The UAE doesn’t directly border Yemen but has been under attack by Iran-backed Houthis from Yemen which shows Houthis’ capabilities. The UAE and Saudi Arabia-led coalition entered Yemen’s war in 2015 to defend Yemen government and restore its authority in a country which has so far failed.
The Iran-backed Houthis have been reactants to carry out attacks on UAE as UAE scaled down support for Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen since 2015 but of recent, UAE backed groups in Yemen intensified the attack on Iran-backed Houthis which prompted the group to change its strategy by attacking UAE directly.
The first attack by the Houthis on UAE using drones and ballistic missiles on UAE oil facilities and airport led to the death of three people in Abu Dhabi which prompted UAE to launch air strikes against Houthis targets.
Recently reports indicated that on January 24, the US forces stationed at Abu Dhabi air base fired Patriot missile interceptors during ballistic missile attack on the gulf country which sent US soldiers and other people running for cover. The two ballistic missiles were shot over the city and no injuries were reported.
The UAE houses 2000 US troops who help provide early warning and intelligence and collaborates on air defense. The US operates drones and f-35s lightening II combat fighter jets from the base in UAE but there has been dispute of recent after UAE refused to buy f-35 fighter jets from the US in a deal worth 23 billion dollars citing issues related to Sovereignty.
So we are not sure if the deal is back on the table as US sends more fighter jets and warships to UAE to defend them from Iran-backed Houthis ballistic missiles and drones.
As Houthis changed its attention to UAE, last week the US president Joe Biden said that he was thinking of re- designating Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization which the human rights groups said would worsen the situation on the ground in Yemen by complicating the delivery of aid to millions of people who are experiencing hunger and are in need of medical assistance and water for drinking.
The US stopped support for Saudi Arabia-led coalition war in Yemen last year after human rights groups said the US support was fueling a war which has killed thousands of people and left millions displaced from their homes and hungry.
Although US is sending advanced fighter jets and warships to UAE to help defend the gulf country, I don’t think US will want to again be drawn into the Yemen war which has shown no sign of ending at a time when its in a stand off with Russia in Europe.
Despite Iran experiencing one of the harshest sanctions from US and its allies, Iran has been able to support many groups in the region which has made the operations of US military difficult like in Iraq and has been able defend president Assad of Syria from Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia backed groups and has been able to support the Houthis in Yemen sustain the war against much rich Saudi Arabia-led coalition for more than 7 years.
The Houthis attack on UAE threaten the existence of the country which heavily depend on International trade and tourism as one body would want to visit a country which is consistently under ballistic missile attack even if you have the defense systems which means UAE will have to find a solution soon before the situation gets out of control.