Soaring Tensions as Houthis Fire Missiles at Saudis, UAE

Saudis pound Yemeni capital of Sanaa

Last week’s Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi spiked the price of oil and raised concern about the business environment of the United Arab Emirates. The response was an increase in Saudi-led airstrikes on northern Yemen, with nearly 100 killed in an attack on the Saada prison.

Monday, the Houthis fired more missiles at Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This is leading to more angry threats of reprisals, and Houthi warnings that more strikes will continue so long as Yemen remains under siege.

The Saudis have been escalating the airstrikes for months now, every time the Houthis show a sign of gaining an advantage. Throughout the war the Houthis have retained an ability for missile and drone strikes across the border, and they’ve been picking up the pace lately.

The first strike on a UAE target set a precedent for the targets no longer just being in Saudi Arabia. This week’s missile fire was a continuation of that, and the economic import of cities like Abu Dhabi show that the Houthis’ limited capabilities will still be felt.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.