(Bloomberg) -- The United Arab Emirates said it had intercepted two ballistic missiles launched by Yemen’s Houthi fighters, an escalation in a conflict that’s largely left the country unscathed.

Shrapnel from the interception fell over scattered areas of Abu Dhabi without causing loss of life, the UAE Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday. The ministry added that it was “prepared to deal with any threats and is taking all necessary procedures to protect the country from attacks.”

There was no immediate response from the Houthis.

Last week the Iran-backed Yemeni fighters launched drone strikes on the UAE that caused explosions and a deadly fire outside Abu Dhabi, the capital, increasing security risks in the oil-exporting region at a critical time. 

Given Iran’s longtime support of the Houthis, the incidents risk roiling regional diplomatic efforts to ease frictions and restore Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The Houthis regularly fire missiles and drones at neighboring Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen, but attacks on the UAE are rarer.

READ MORE: Deadly Drone Strikes on UAE Raise Gulf Tensions, Roil Oil Market

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