The UAE, part of the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, suffered its third missile attack in consecutive weeks on Monday.

The rebel attacks have raised Gulf tensions even further at a time when international talks over Iran's nuclear programme are stumbling.
The rebel attacks have raised Gulf tensions even further at a time when international talks over Iran's nuclear programme are stumbling. (AFP)

The United States will deploy a guided missile destroyer and state-of-the-art fighter jets to help defend the United Arab Emirates after a series of missile attacks by Yemeni rebels.

The deployment, to "assist the UAE against the current threat", follows a phone call between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the US embassy in the UAE said on Wednesday.

The guided missile destroyer USS Cole will partner with the UAE Navy and make a port call in Abu Dhabi, the statement said, while the US will also deploy fifth-generation fighter planes.

Other actions include "continuing to provide early warning intelligence", it added.

READ MORE: Why tensions are escalating between Yemen’s Houthis and the UAE

New front

The rebel attacks have opened a new front in Yemen's seven-year war, which has killed hundreds of thousands directly or indirectly and displaced millions.

Three foreign workers were killed in a drone-and-missile assault targeting Abu Dhabi's oil facilities and airport on January 17, triggering a salvo of deadly air strikes in retaliation.

On January 24, US forces stationed at Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra air base fire Patriot interceptors and scrambled to bunkers as two ballistic missiles were shot down over the city.

And on Monday, a third missile attack was thwarted during the visit to the UAE of Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

The US, a supporter of the Saudi-led coalition, intends the deployment to be "a clear signal that the United States stands with the UAE as a long-standing strategic partner", the statement said.

READ MORE: Where is Yemen’s conflict(s) headed?

Source: TRTWorld and agencies