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US to send 5th-generation fighter jets to region in support of UAE aggression against Yemen

A US Air Force F-35A Lightning II fifth-generation fighter aircraft

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has announced a decision to dispatch a guided missile destroyer and 5th generation fighter jets to the region amid increasing retaliatory air raids by Yemeni Armed Forces on vital facilities in the United Arab Emirates.

Austin made the pledge during a telephone conversation with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Tuesday.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the two sides discussed the recent Yemeni attacks against the UAE that threatened US and Emirati forces stationed at al-Dhafra Air Base near Abu Dhabi. 

Austin, he added, reiterated his strong condemnation of the strikes, and his commitment to US-UAE strategic partnership. 

The US defense secretary further “reviewed a range of actions the Department of Defense is taking to support the UAE.  These include continuing to provide early warning intelligence, collaborating on air defense, and sending the US Navy guided missile destroyer USS Cole to partner with the UAE Navy before making a port call in Abu Dhabi,” Kirby said.

Austin also informed bin Zayed “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 Emirates is Saudi Arabia’s main ally in a 2015-present bloody war and simultaneous siege that the kingdom has been leading against Yemen, seeking, in vain, to change the country’s ruling structure in favor of its former Riyadh-friendly officials.

The Yemeni forces that feature the country’s army and its allied fighters from the Popular Committees have, however, vowed not to lay down their arms until the country’s complete liberation from the scourge of the Saudi invasion.

Most recently, the joint forces carried out three operations, which saw them strike targets deep inside Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The first operation took place on January 17 with five ballistic missiles and a large number of drones, according to Spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree.

It targeted the Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports, the Musaffah oil refinery in Abu Dhabi, and a number of important and sensitive Emirati sites and facilities.

One week later, Yemeni forces pounded al-Dhafra Air Base along with important targets in Dubai. They also hit a number of military camps in Sharurah town of Saudi Arabia’s Najran and strategic sites in the kingdom’s Jizan and Asir regions.

In the third operation on January 31, Yemen’s Zulfiqar ballistic missiles and Sammad-3 (Invincible-3) drones struck targets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

During the second and third Yemeni attacks, American troops fired “Patriot interceptors” in support of the UAE.

The United States has been lending all-out arms, logistical, and political support to the Saudi-led invasion since its onset.

The arms support has included provision of surgical weapons for the invading coalition that the aggressors have been using amply against Yemeni civilians.

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