Part of the Saudi coalition, the leaders of the UAE are about to leave the battlefield. In 15 months the Emirates have suffered at least 80 dead. Foreign Minister says the time has come for "political agreements" and to strengthen the Yemenis "in the liberated areas." But much of the country is still under the control of the Houthi rebels.
Abu Dhabi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are ready to withdraw their troops from the conflict in Yemen. After 15 months and at least 80 deaths, the leaders of the Gulf nation, part of the Saudi led Arab coalition, have stated that - for them - the war "is over". A government minister made the official announcement which was then retweeted by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, much of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, remains in the hands of the Houthi rebels.
Supported by Iran, the local Shia militias were the declared target of the Saudi coalition. However, months of intense fighting and human rights violations - including the UN charge, later retracted, of provoking the massacre of civilians, especially children – they have not even scratched the rebel resistance.
Rather, the attacks have caused an escalation of violence and confusion, contributing to the advance of jihadist groups that have committed serious crimes and massacres, such as the assault on the hospice managed by religious sisters in Aden in the south.
Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister for Foreign Affairs said that "our standpoint today is clear -- war is over for our troops, we're monitoring political arrangements (and) empowering Yemenis in liberated areas”. His intervention took place in the context of a meeting with foreign ambassadors and senior officials, including Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. The latter is also deputy supreme commander of the Armed Forces; the intervention in Yemen is the first outside of national boundaries in the history of the country.
Since January 2015, Yemen has been the scene of a bloody civil war pitting the country’s Sunni leadership, backed by Saudi Arabia, against Shia Houthi rebels, close to Iran.
In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes against the rebels in an attempt to free the capital For Saudi Arabia, the Houthis, who are allied to forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, are militarily supported by Iran, a charge the latter angrily rejects.
Groups linked to al Qaeda and jihadist militias linked to the Islamic State group are active in the country, which adds to the spiral of violence and terror.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) sources at least 6,400 people have been killed, although some sources say the real number is nearly 10 thousand and 16 thousand wounded. The United Nations, which has promoted peace talks in Kuwait so far without any results, warns there is a strong risk of a "humanitarian catastrophe" in Yemen.