ABU DHABI - The United Arab Emirates confirmed its continued role within the Arab coalition in Yemen as part of its efforts to maintain security and stability in the region.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, praised in a tweet Sunday Emirati soldiers for fulfilling their duty and contributing to the stability of the region.
“Tomorrow is an exceptionally proud day for the UAE as we celebrate & honor our heroes for their participation in the Arab coalition in Yemen. On behalf of the whole nation we are grateful for your service & your sacrifice. You truly are the embodiment of the spirit of the UAE,” tweeted Sheikh Mohamed.
“Together with my brothers, the UAE Rulers, I attended a celebration of our brave sons & daughters who took part in the Arab coalition in Yemen. The UAE will remain a bridge to peace & stability, supporting the region's progress of hope for a better life & a better tomorrow,” added the Crown Prince.
The UAE, one of the key military forces in the Saudi-led Arab coalition, has played several roles in Yemen. It helped boost efforts to free many areas from the Iran-backed Huthi rebels.
Emirati forces played a major role in preserving the stability of the recovered areas from the Shiite rebels by supervising the training of Yemeni forces tasked with maintaining those areas.
Several Yemeni regions had been exposed to the threat of Al-Qaeda fighters who took advantage of the security situation in the war-torn country and the state’s loosening grip to reinforce their presence in southern and eastern Yemen. The UAE played a decisive role in confronting terrorist elements by helping create local forces, setting up security belts and assisting them to confront the terrorist organisation.
In 2016, Emirati forces helped drive Al-Qaeda out of the Yemeni port city of Mukalla, capital of the vast desert province of Hadramawt, after the terror group ruled it with an iron fist and destroyed ancient tombs and mausoleums, claiming they were forms of idolatry banned in Islam.
The UAE has carried out humanitarian actions in Yemen for the past five years by providing people living in the poorest areas and those most affected by natural disasters with urgent assistance, including food, medicine, clothing and shelter equipment.
The Gulf state helped residents of other Yemeni regions settle in their areas and restore the normal pattern of their lives by providing them with the necessary resources to carry out small projects related to the economic activities in those areas such as fishing.
It also helped in the reopening of health and educational institutions and built roads leading to isolated areas, providing them with electricity and clean water.
Several Yemeni authorities welcomed the UAE’s renewed commitment to help Yemen’s stability. Brigadier General Tarik Mohammed Saleh, a Yemeni military commander and nephew of the late President Ali Abdullah Saleh, hailed on Twitter the UAE’s role in Yemen.
“The UAE stood as an army, a people, and a leadership alongside the Yemenis, as did all the brothers of Arabism and religion. History will not forget the Arabism of the Emirati position and all its brothers, and the Yemeni soil will not forget the blood of the brothers,” tweeted Saleh in a reply to Sheikh Mohamed’s tweet.
Observers saw the Emirati position as a strong message regarding the cohesion of the Arab coalition in Yemen, mainly aimed at Qatar and Turkey, who are waging a media campaign against the alliance’s role by seeking to dismantle through the use of the Muslim Brotherhood within the Yemeni legitimacy.