The Emirati commander said air operations will continue
UAE commander discusses ongoing shift in Yemen war strategy from direct to indirect
A top UAE military official on Sunday said that after five years of war in Yemen, Abu Dhabi has shifted from a direct to an indirect approach, which will be implemented by the Yemeni forces the Emiratis formed, trained and equipped.
In a speech delivered at a ceremony in the UAE capital on the occasion of the return of Emirati forces involved in the war, Lt. Gen. Issa Saif Bin Ablan Al-Marzoui, the deputy chief of staff of the UAE Armed Forces, said they fought three enemies in Yemen at the same time: the Houthi rebels, the Muslim Brotherhood and the terrorist forces of ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
The Emirati military commander praised his soldiers for participating in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and said that UAE forces would continue air operations to maintain the security and stability of the region, reiterating what Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed said in a recent speech.
"The armed forces on land and sea, presidential guard and the special operations forces have participated in 15 missions with more than 15,000 soldiers in various cities and governorates of Yemen,” Al-Marzoui said, adding that the UAE’s navy deployed more than 50 marine vessels and more than 3,000 soldiers.
Al-Marzoui said that the UAE armed forces carried out more than 130,000 air operations, while more than 1,000 naval shipments were used to transport weapons, ammunition, equipment.
The Emiratis recruited, trained and equipped more than 200,000 Yemeni soldiers in the areas liberated from Houthis, he said.
This isn’t the first time the UAE forces have announced a military drawdown in Yemen. Months ago, Emirati officials leaked statements about a drawdown and repositioning of forces in Yemen.
One of those UAE officials, who spoke to Agence France Presse, said that the withdrawal of some of its forces was part of a redeployment plan for strategic and tactical reasons.