U.S. Patriot missile defense systems successfully shot down a pair of incoming missiles fired at a U.S. base in the United Arab Emirates on Monday.
In an emailed statement to American Military News, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), confirmed multiple U.S.-operated Patriot interceptors engaged the pair of missiles targeting the Al Dhafra Air Base, near Abu Dhabi. The base hosts about 2,000 U.S. military service members.
“The combined efforts successfully prevented both missiles from impacting the base,” CENTCOM announced. “There were no U.S. casualties.”
Lt. Col. Phillip Ventura, a spokesman for the U.S. Air Forces in the Middle East, told the New York Times that the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen were behind the attack on the base. The U.A.E. is part of the Saudi Arabian-led coalition of Arab states fighting against the Houthi rebels.
This is the second Houthi attack targeting the U.A.E. in a week. On Jan. 17 the Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for drone attacks that killed one Pakistani and two Indian citizens and set off explosions around Abu Dhabi.
“U.S. forces did set a heightened alert posture at the time of the attack,
the second in the span of a week, which did involve Airmen using available
bunkers,” CENTCOM said Monday. “U.S. forces at Al Dhafra remain vigilant and ready to respond in case of any follow-on attacks.”
Following the pair of missile attacks, the U.A.E. Ministry of Defense announced it had targeted the missile launch site in Yemen.
“MOD Joint Operations Command announces that at 04:10 hrs Yemen time an F-16 destroyed a ballistic missile launcher in Al Jawf, immediately after it launched two ballistic missiles at Abu Dhabi,” the U.A.E. Ministry of Defense tweeted. “They were successfully intercepted by our air defence systems. Video attached.”