Houthi attacks: France rallies around UAE with military assistance

US has also agreed to send warship and fifth-generation fighters to better protect Emirates


By Reuters

Published: Fri 4 Feb 2022, 4:38 PM

Last updated: Sat 5 Feb 2022, 7:01 AM

France said on Friday it has agreed to participate in the reinforcement of the UAE's defence system, including the deployment of Rafale jets, following Houthi attacks.

"The United Arab Emirates were victims of serious attacks on their territory in January. In order to show our solidarity with this friendly country, France has decided to provide military support, in particular to protect the airspace against any intrusion," French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly wrote on Twitter.

The French Armed Forces Ministry added that operations will be conducted from Al Dhafra air base, working in close coordination with the Emirates, with a view to detecting and intercepting any drone or missile attacks.

The UAE said late on Wednesday that it intercepted three drones that entered its airspace over unpopulated areas earlier in the day, in the latest attack on the commercial and tourism hub in the past few weeks.

Earlier this week, the United States had also said it would send a warship and fighter jets to assist the UAE.

The deployment, to “assist the UAE against the current threat”, follows a phone call between His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, the US embassy in the UAE had said.

As part of the arrangements, the USS Cole guided missile destroyer will partner with the UAE Navy, while the US will also deploy fifth-generation warplanes.


Other actions include “continuing to provide early warning intelligence (and) collaborating on air defence”, the embassy said.

The US intends the deployment to be “a clear signal that the United States stands with the UAE as a long-standing strategic partner”, the embassy said.

The UAE has called on Biden to redesignate the Houthis as a terrorist organisation.

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