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U.S. and UAE Discuss Steps to Enhance Security After Abu Dhabi Attack

The Houthi attack was unprecedented because the Iran-backed rebels had previously targeted Saudi Arabia and ships in the region but not the United Arab Emirates, which is a member of the Saudi-led alliance that intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015.
U.S. and UAE discuss steps to enhance security after Abu Dhabi attack
The Msaffah industrial district in Abu Dhabi, near the site of a suspected drone attack. Photo: AFP via Getty


U.S. envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking traveled to the Gulf on Wednesday in the aftermath of an attack by Houthi rebels that killed three people in Abu Dhabi.

Why it matters: Lenderking’s trip was previously planned but became much more urgent after the attack threatened new escalation in the fighting in Yemen and more broadly in the region. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also spoke Wednesday with Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed.

  • They discussed steps to tighten Emirati defenses against missile and drone attacks as well as enhanced maritime security to stop weapons flows, the UAE’s ambassador to Washington said.
  • Meanwhile, UAE intelligence director Ali al-Shamsi arrived in Washington for a previously scheduled trip that will include meetings with CIA director Bill Burns, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and senior members of Congress.

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