The Pentagon said the deployment is a signal that the U.S. supports the UAE as a long-standing strategic partner.

The US Department of Defense announced the dispatch of modern fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates to help this country defend itself from the threat posed by the Yemeni Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran.

In a statement, the Pentagon said that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a telephone conversation with the Crown Prince of the UAE Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan informed him that he was sending aircraft to strengthen military support for this country by the United States.

Austin also agreed to send the missile destroyer “Cole” to assist the UAE Navy and call at the port of Abu Dhabi, the military department said.

The statement said this deployment should send “a clear signal that the U.S. supports the UAE as a long-standing strategic partner.”

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have recently carried out three missile attacks against the UAE, including a foiled attempt to strike a base where American troops are stationed.