Amid all the recent Houthi militia attacks on key oil installations and bases located within Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the United States had announced that it would deploy several F-22 fighter jets and a guided-missile destroyer to help defend these countries, specifically the UAE, as it had been a subject of a rebel attack just a few days ago.

US F-22 Raptors arriving at Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE after a series of attacks from the Houthi rebels (US AFCENT). Source:
US F-22 Raptors arriving at Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE after a series of attacks from the Houthi rebels (US AFCENT (@USAFCENT)/Twitter)

US F-22 fighter jets had arrived in the United Arab Emirates during the weekend in fulfillment of Washington’s promises to the country that it would stand with them in the fight against Houthis. The Raptors from the 1st Fight Wing were said to arrive at the Al Dhafra Air Base just outside Abu Dhabi from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, to provide support to the Emirati military in defending against future drone strikes from the terrorists. This report comes after the US Navy deployed the USS Cole to patrol Emirati waters while maintaining relatively close proximity to the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.

Intended to be a show of US support, the F-22s will be a show of functional goodwill between the US and the UAE, much to the appreciation of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The US Air Forces Central statement read:

“The unparalleled capabilities of the F-22 in a variety of missions, as well as its ability to interoperate with joint, coalition, allied, and partner forces make it ideally suited to serve in the Middle East region during this critical time,” said Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, 9th AF (AFCENT) commander. “The Raptors’ presence will bolster already strong partner nation defenses and puts destabilizing forces on notice that the US and our partners are committed to enabling peace and stability in the region.”

The latest string of drone attacks on the UAE is due to the fact that the Kingdom plays an active role as part of the Saudi-led coalition to fight the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have since increased the number of attacks in the past few months. These events now open a potential new war front for the countries involved with various non-military casualties inflicted by the rebel attacks.