The U.S. military is sending a guided missile destroyer to the United Arab Emirates and deploying fighter jets to help the UAE as it contends with missile attacks from Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The Pentagon said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed the moves in a phone call Tuesday with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
A Pentagon statement said the USS Cole will “partner with the UAE Navy before making a port call in Abu Dhabi.”
“The Secretary also informed the Crown Prince of his decision to deploy 5th Generation Fighter aircraft to assist the UAE against the current threat and as a clear signal that the United States stands with the UAE as a long-standing strategic partner,” the statement said.
A January 17 rebel attack killed three foreign workers at an Abu Dhabi oil facility.
One week later, UAE and U.S. forces at Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra airbase launched interceptor missiles to destroy two Houthi missiles.
A third attack came Monday, with UAE missiles intercepting a Houthi rocket during a visit from Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition, which since 2015 has battled the Houthi rebels in defense of Yemen’s internationally recognized government.
Some information for this report came from Agence France-Presse and Reuters.