Iran’s Unprecedented Wave of Attacks Against the UAE

Iranian-backed militias have expanded their regional aggression by launching an unprecedented wave of attacks against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2022. The Houthis in Yemen and, most recently, a pro-Iran militia in Iraq have targeted the UAE this year with at least four ballistic missiles, six drones, and four cruise missiles, the first time these groups are known to have targeted the previously safe Emirates. While the combined efforts of Emirati and U.S.-operated air defenses intercepted multiple projectiles, several reached their targets, causing destruction and casualties. These strikes are part of a significant escalation of attacks by Iranian-backed groups since the beginning of 2021 that has continued this year. The Biden administration urgently needs to take steps to improve regional air defenses, including leveraging the Abraham Accords to support the transfer of proven Israeli systems to Arab states and to build an integrated layered air defense architecture, as outlined in JINSA’s report, A Stronger and Wider Peace.

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JINSA Staff Contributors

Ari Cicurel – Senior Policy Analyst