ABU DHABIinfo-icon: USinfo-icon Marine General Frank McKenzie arrived in the United Arab Emiratesinfo-icon on Sunday for talks on efforts to bolster the Gulf state's defenses after a series of missileinfo-icon attacks launched by Houthi militants in Yemeninfo-icon.

In recent weeks, the Iraninfo-icon-aligned Houthis have waged an unprecedented string of largely failed missiles strikes on UAEinfo-icon targets that have triggered Emirati and US air defenses and seen American troops briefly taking shelter.

The attacks have thrown a spotlight on so-far unsuccessful UN-led efforts to broker an end to the warinfo-icon in Yemen, which since 2015 has pitted the Houthis against a Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen.

McKenzie, who oversees US forces in the Middle Eastinfo-icon as head of Central Command, said he moved up his planned visit in response to the Houthi attacks, hoping to underscore the US commitment to the Gulf state's defense.

"I think it's a very worrisome time for UAE. They're looking for support. We're here to help them to provide that support," McKenzie told reporters shortly before landing in Abu Dhabi.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon announced a US deployment of advanced F-22 fighter jets and a guided missile destroyer, the USS Cole, to partner with the UAE navy ahead of a port call in Abu Dhabi.

McKenzie said the F-22s would provide the UAE with "one of the best look-down radars in the worldinfo-icon," capable of identifying targets including land attack cruise missiles and drones.

The USS Cole will operate in waters around the UAE, he said, keeping a lookout for shipments of illegal contraband.

Asked about the latest Houthi missile attacks, McKenzie said they could have been prompted by a range of scenarios, including as a response to battlefield setbacks.

"Hard to know all the Houthi reasons behind this," he said. "I think the Houthis aren't used to losing ground in Yemen."

Washington accuses Tehraninfo-icon of supplying high-end weaponry to the Houthis. 

"Medium range ballistic missiles that were fired from Yemen and entered UAE were not invented, built, designed in Yemen," McKenzie said. "All that happened somewhere else. So I think we certainly see the Iranian connection to this."