The United Arab Emirates intercepted a ballistic missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen on Monday, the third attack on the Gulf state by the rebels in the past two weeks.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon that U.S. military personnel based in the country responded to the inbound missile threat with Patriot missile batteries, while Emirati forces fired surface-to-air missiles.
“The U.S. Patriots were fired, but it was the Emirati surface-to-air missiles that actually engaged the targets,” Kirby said.
The intercepted missile caused no injuries or casualties, according to Kirby.
A Houthi military spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack, which came as the UAE hosted Israeli President Isaac Herzog for a state visit.
Anwar Gargash, a diplomatic adviser to the UAE president, called the attack a “useless” provocation.
“We do not see the threats and fantasies of terrorist organizations based on illusions as more than a passing matter that will be dealt with in a manner that guarantees our security and national sovereignty,” Gargash said Monday via Twitter.
Last week, both Emirati and U.S. forces fired interceptor missiles to stop a similar Houthi attack.
The week before, Houthi rebels carried out a drone-and-missile attack on an Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. fuel depot in the capital’s Mussafah neighborhood, killing three people and wounding at least six others.
The Houthis frequently carried out attacks on Saudi Arabian soil before expanding strikes on the UAE this month. Israel and Sunni Muslim Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE have shared concerns over Shi’ite Iran, including its support for Yemen’s Houthis.