US to Deploy F-22 Jets in UAE, Move a Guided Missile Destroyer to Help Ward Off Threat From Houthis

© AP Photo / Kamran JebreiliF-22 Raptor
F-22 Raptor - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.02.2022
The UAE is part of a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition which has waged a campaign against the Houthi militia in Yemen at the request by then-President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Riyadh and its allies have accused Iran of arming the Houthis, whereas Tehran says its support to the group is only political.
The United States will deploy a squadron of Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter jets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the next week and move a guided missile destroyer USS Cole to “patrol the waters” around the Gulf monarchy, the commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), said on Tuesday.

“We think of it as just one friend helping another in a time of crisis,” General Kenneth F McKenzie told UAE’s state-run WAM News Agency. The US General is on an official visit to the UAE.

McKenzie said that both the measures are being taken to strengthen the air defence capabilities of the UAE, which faced drone and missile attacks from Yemen-based Houthi militants several times last month.
Tribesmen loyal to Houthi rebels, hold their weapons as they chant slogans during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters into battlefronts in several Yemeni cities, in Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.01.2022
Yemen's Houthis Warn UAE Citizens of Looming Airstrikes, to Avoid 'Vital Facilities'
He also said that the US was working with regional and global partners to develop “effective solutions” to pre-empt drone strikes before they are even launched.

“We would like to work against drones in what we call 'Left of Launch' - [which means] before they can be launched. Such a system will be able to detect the launch of drones, see them and disrupt their flight,” the General explained.

"And if you can't do that, you will certainly be able to shoot them down as they reach their intended target," he added.
The General also hailed the US-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system for intercepting missile and drones launched towards the UAE by the Houthis.

"We are happy to see that THAAD was employed successfully by UAE in the first two combat employments of that system,” he remarked, adding that Washington would work with the Emirati government to improve air defence further.

The UAE’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) last month announced that it had intercepted and destroyed missiles launched by Houthis. On 2 February, the defence ministry said it had intercepted three “hostile” drones which entered the country’s airspace.
The UAE is also accommodating nearly 2,000 American troops at the Al-Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi. The American forces last month used their own Patriot missiles on two separate occasions to help the UAE intercept air attacks from the Houthis.
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