The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said that it has intercepted two ballistic missiles fired by Houthi rebels targeting Abu Dhabi on early Monday. The state-run news agency said that drones were used for the attack but no casualties were reported after both the missiles were successfully intercepted. The attack comes less that a week after a deadly Houthi drone attack killed three civilians.
Video footages on social media show two missiles in the night sky of Abu Dhabi that were intercepted by the UAE's air defense system. According to a CNN-News 18 report, sources form the UAE Intelligence Services said that the attacks on Abu Dhabi are just a trial and similar airstrikes could be replicated on Dubai at the Dubai Expo Global village where millions congregate daily.
UAE Intercepts Houthi Missiles
UAE officials said that the attack on Abu Dhabi could be a warning or a test trial for a bigger attack on Dubai. On Monday, a spokesman for Yemen's Houthi rebel militia said they two missiles were fired on Abu Dhabi and others on Saudi Arabia. However, he didn't elaborate further.
"The air defenses had intercepted and destroyed two ballistic missiles fired by the terrorist Houthi group towards the country on Monday," the defense ministry announced on Twitter. The attack did not result in any human losses, it said, adding that the remnants of the intercepted and destroyed ballistic missiles fell in separate areas around Abu Dhabi.
Video footages posted on social media show two missiles launched by Houthi rebel militia landing on Abu Dhabi before both are intercepted. The ministry also said in a statement that the UAE is ready to deal with any threats and that the authority would take all necessary measures to protect the country from all attacks, the official WAM news agency reported.
The Houthis have been at war with a Saudi-led coalition that includes the UAE for the past six years. Over these six years, Houthi rebels have carried out several cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia.
Last week, it launching a similar drone attack on the UAE, that killed three people. Monday's attack further escalates tensions across the Persian Gulf as Yemen's yearslong civil war grinds on.
Is Dubai the Next Target?
Monday's attack is now being seen as a warning as authorities believe that a similar attack can take place on Dubai while the expo is on. Although no casualties were reported from Monday's attack, it was raised panic among civilians.
Videos posted to social media show the sky over the capital light up before dawn Monday, with points of light looking like interceptor missiles in the sky. The videos corresponded to known features of Abu Dhabi. The attack disrupted traffic into Abu Dhabi International Airport much like last week.
The UAE government has now issued an alert for a possible attack on Dubai that included instructions on how to handle and cope with similar missile attacks given that it is a tourist destination and a city of skyscrapers.
The UAE has also spent a significant amount to create an ariel security zone over Dubai Expo area to ward off any types of drone attacks by the Houthi rebel militia.