The United Arab Emirates intercepted and destroyed three drones that entered the Gulf nation’s airspace over unpopulated areas early on Wednesday, the defence ministry said.
The commercial and tourism hub has faced several attacks in the past few weeks launched by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, including a missile attack on Monday here during a visit by Israel’s president.
On Twitter, the Emirati defence ministry said it was “ready to deal with any threats” and was taking “all necessary measures” to protect the state and its territory.
The Houthis claimed the last three assaults on the UAE, including one on Jan. 17 that killed three people in Abu Dhabi, but have not announced a new operation.
Wednesday’s drone launch was claimed by a little-known group calling itself the “True Promise Brigades”, according to U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, which follows jihadist websites.
The group’s only other claim here was in January 2021, when it said it launched a drone at Saudi Arabia, which leads a coalition that includes the UAE and is engaged in Yemen.
The Houthis had focused cross-border missiles and drone launches at Saudi Arabia in the seven-year war, but last month extended them to the UAE after Emirati-backed Yemeni forces joined fighting against the group in energy-producing regions.
On Tuesday, the United States said it was sending fighter jets here to assist the UAE after the attacks, one of which was aimed at a base hosting U.S forces.
The Yemen war, in which the coalition intervened in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the government from the capital, Sanaa, is seen largely as a proxy war between rivals Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran.
Iran’s foreign minister discussed here Yemen with his Emirati counterpart by telephone on Wednesday.
The UAE largely reduced its military presence in Yemen in 2019 amid a military stalemate and heightened regional tension with Iran, but holds sway via local forces it arms and trains and has participated in coalition air strikes.