US F-22 Fighter Jets Arrive in UAE to Help Against Houthi Attacks

The US has been helping the UAE intercept Houthi missiles

A squadron of US F-22 Raptor fighter jets arrived in the UAE Saturday as part of Washington’s effort to increase support for Abu Dhabi in the wake of recent Houthi attacks.

Last week, Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, said the F-22s would help “defend” the UAE. The US is also deploying the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole to the UAE.

Since a Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi killed three people in January, the US has intervened twice to help the UAE intercept Houthi missiles, marking an escalation in Washington’s role in the war.

McKenzie also vowed to help the UAE replenish its missile defense systems. Earlier this month, the State Department approved a potential arms deal for the Emirates that will supply them with replacement parts for their Hawk, Patriot, and THAAD missile systems.

The US frames this support as “defensive” in nature, but the Houthis wouldn’t be attacking the UAE if not for Abu Dhabi’s role in the war on Yemen that has been raging since 2015. In recent months, the Saudi-led coalition has intensified its air war on Yemen, which the Houthis hold the US responsible for since the Saudi air force is so reliant on US support.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.