The Associated Press DUBAI (AP) — The United Arab Emirates on Sunday denied a claim by Yemen’s Shiite rebels that they fired a missile toward an under-construction UAE nuclear plant. The denial came as heavy fighting in Yemen’s capital unraveled a rebel alliance that has been at war with a Saudi-led coalition, including the UAE.
The Yemeni rebels, known as Houthis, have been clashing in Sanaa for five consecutive days with supporters of Yemen’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, an ally turned adversary.
The alliance between the Houthis and Saleh had helped the rebels retain control of Sanaa, despite nearly three years of coalition airstrikes.
The Houthis accuse Saleh of striking deals with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Since the recent clashes erupted in Sanaa, the Saudi coalition has been targeting the Houthis and backing Saleh’s camp.
The Houthi claim Sunday came as the UAE celebrated its 46th National Day with a public sector holiday that began on Thursday with a commemoration of the country’s fallen soldiers.
In a statement posted on the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency, authorities said: “The National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority denies the claim that the Houthis fired a missile toward the country.”
“The UAE possesses an air defense system capable of dealing with any threat of any type or kind,” the statement added, saying that the nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi was well-protected.
The National, a state-aligned newspaper in Abu Dhabi, also reported that Barakah’s operations were “unaffected on Sunday, while sources on the ground confirmed there were no signs of an attack to the structure.” The newspaper did not elaborate.Speech