DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – A false claim by Yemen's Houthi rebels of an attack on the world's busiest airport for international travel this week may have been quickly disproven by authorities in Dubai. That doesn't mean, however, it can be taken too lightly. The insistence of the Houthis and hard-line media in Iran on trumpeting the falsehood serves as a warning to the city-state and other parts of the United Arab Emirates, now engaged in the yearslong Yemen war led by Saudi Arabia. And while a previous threat carried by Iranian media drew an immediate government response from censors, this one went by without censure. That means as American sanctions sparked by President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal increase, so too will the threats against the U.S.-allied UAE.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - The Saudi-led military coalition vowed to respond firmly to a missile attack by Yemeni Houthi forces on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday that wounded 26 people. The Western-backed, Sunni Muslim alliance that has been battling the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen said the early-morning strike was proof of Iranian support for what it called cross-border terrorism. The coalition said a projectile hit the arrivals hall at Abha airport, causing material damage. Three women and two children were among the wounded, who were of Saudi, Yemeni and Indian nationalities, it said in a statement. The Houthis said on their media channels that they fired a cruise missile at Abha airport, which is about 200 km (125 miles) north of the Yemen border and serves domestic and regional routes.
The United Arab Emirates' state-run news agency is denying a claim that a Yemeni missile targeted its under-construction nuclear plant. The WAM news agency disputed the Shiite rebel account in a report Sunday that said the country also had air-defense systems capable of protecting it. The Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, earlier said they fired a missile at an under-construction nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi. The $20 billion Barakah nuclear power plant is in Abu Dhabi's far western desert. The first of its four reactors, being built in the UAE's near its border with Saudi Arabia, is scheduled to come online in 2018.
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Rouhani said Wednesday that it will begin keeping its excess uranium and heavy water from its nuclear program, setting a 60-day deadline for new terms to its nuclear deal with world powers before it will resume higher uranium enrichment. FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2018, file photo, an armed Saudi soldier holds a walkie-talkie near Mukalla, Yemen, at an airport now serving as a military base for the United Arab Emirates. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Latest on developments in the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere in the Mideast amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times local): Iran's president has told a group of clerics that he is seeking expanded, wartime executive powers to better deal with an "economic war" triggered by the Trump administration's pullout from the nuclear deal and escalating U.S. sanctions. The state IRNA news agency reported late Monday that President Hassan Rouhani cited the 1980s war with Iraq, when a wartime supreme council was able to bypass other branches to make decisions regarding the economy and the war.