USAF F-22 Raptors guarding the UAE

Loitering drone strikes by Houthi and PMU rebels in the United Arab Emirates have led to a new role for US Air Force Raptors and other American assets in the volatile region. Babak Taghvaee reports. 

In the afternoon of Friday, February 18, 2022, a trio of US Air Force F-22A Raptor Air Superiority fighter jets landed at Al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Serialed 04-4076, 05-4091 and 09-4189, they were part of 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Wing, and they joined nine other F-22As of the squadron already at Al-Dhafra.

The nine had been previously transferred to the base on February 10 and 12 to protect the UAE from the threat posed by loitering drones of the rebels of the Houthi and PMU (Popular Mobilization Units, or Hashd al-Shaabi) groups.

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