Regional conflict in the Middle East came to the nuclear power industry over the weekend, according to rebel fighters in Yeman, who claimed they had fired a ballistic missile at the nuclear plant under construction in Barakah in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The UAE National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, however, denied that any missile had been fired at the plant, issuing a statement that said the UAE “possesses an air defense system capable of dealing with any threat of any type or kind,” according to Trade Arabia.
The pronouncement that a missile had been fired was broadcast on al-Masirah TV, which is affiliated with the Houthi rebel force that controls the capital and about 55 percent of northern Yemen. The claim of an attack on the UAE or the actual attack – whichever is true – is being called a show of force in the wake of the rebel coalition's recent loss of a key ally, former Yeman President Ali Addullah Saleh, who last week called on the people of Yeman to “defend their republic.”
In denying that a missile had been fired, a Yemen official, speaking anonymously, joked that the government was still waiting for the missile to arrive, Bloomberg News reported.
The Houthis force is backed by Iran. Nearby, oil-rich Saudi Arabia has been directly involved in the conflict, supporting the Yemen government in the fight since 2015.
The rebel Houthis, who have been flexing their muscles of late, targeted the Riyahd international airport in Saudi Arabia with a missile attack recently. That attack was thwarted by Saudi Arabia's considerable air defenses.
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