News ID: 255484
Published: 0230 GMT July 08, 2019

UAE says reducing troops in war-torn Yemen

UAE says reducing troops in war-torn Yemen

The United Arab Emirates said on Monday it was reducing the number of troops in war-torn Yemen and moving from a "military-first" strategy to a "peace-first" plan.

"We do have troop levels that are down for reasons that are strategic in (the Red Sea city of) Hodeida and reasons that are tactical" in other parts of the country, a senior UAE official told reporters, reported.

"It is very much to do with moving from what I would call a military-first strategy to a peace-first strategy, and this is I think what we are doing."

UAE troops fighting as part of a Saudi-led military coalition against Yemen have "totally vacated" the military base in Khokha, about 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of Hodeida, a former Yemeni government official told AFP on Monday.

He added that the UAE withdrew part of its heavy artillery from Khokha but was – along with the Saudi-led coalition and the former Yemeni government – still overseeing the military situation in Yemen's western coast.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have been waging a brutal war on Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the country's Riyadh-allied former government and crush the Houthis – objectives that have failed to materialize.

According to a data recently unveiled by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), almost 100,000 people have been killed since 2015 as the Yemen war rages on.

The conflict triggered what the UN describes as the world's worst existing humanitarian crisis.

The former official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said UAE troops vacated a military post in Sarwah, west of Marib Province, and pulled back the Patriot missile system from the area.


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