A little over one year since its forces had entered Yemen (along with Saudi Arabia), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Wednesday that it will be ending its combat operations in the country. The announcement was made by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash.
Following Dr. Gargash’s announcement, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed ibn Zayed al-Nahyan went on Twitter to state, “Our standpoint today is clear: war is over for our troops; we’re monitoring political arrangements, empowering Yemenis in liberated areas.”
The UAE’s withdrawal will not be an immediate process. For the time being, its forces will remain on standby in the area, but will gradually be phased out in the coming months.
Comment and Analysis
The UAE played a significant role on the ground and in the skies during the Saudi-led campaign. UAE land forces were known for being involved in a number of armour and artillery thrusts in Yemen last year in September. UAE Air Force combat aircraft, such as the AT802 counterinsurgency (COIN) attacker as well as Dassault Mirage 2000-9 multi-role fighters, also engaged in air strikes. In fact, an Emirati Mirage 2000-9 crashed in March, resulting in the fatalities of both of its pilots.