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War in Yemen "over" for UAE

More than 80 Emirati soldiers have been killed in Yemen [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 June, 2016

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The United Arab Emirates said Wednesday that the "war is over" for its troops in Yemen, though it may continue to keep them there for "counterterrorism" operations.
The United Arab Emirates said Wednesday that the "war is over" for its troops in Yemen, though it may continue to keep them there for "counterterrorism" operations.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan carried the announcement on his official Twitter account late Wednesday.

He was quoting the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, who had given a speech saying the "war is over for our troops."

An Arabic version of his comments was worded slightly differently than the English one, saying the war is "practically" over.

The statement left open the likelihood that Emirati troops would remain in Yemen, where they operate in the southern province of Hadramawt and the port city of Aden.

The Saudi coalition's spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Gargash was also quoted as saying the UAE was "monitoring political arrangements" and "empowering Yemenis in liberated areas."

The UAE has been among the most active members of a Saudi-led coalition that intervened more than a year ago to help forces loyal to Yemen's internationally recognized government roll back gains by Houthi rebels, who still control the capital, Sanaa, and much of northern Yemen.

Yemeni security officials told The Associated Press that Emirati troops were still guarding the airport and presidential palace in Aden on Wednesday, where the government of exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has been operating from.

Hadi's government was driven out of Sanaa in late 2014. Emirati troops also have a camp in Aden.

The UAE, which has one of the best-equipped militaries in the region, suffered numerous losses over the past year of fighting in Yemen, including four pilots killed in two separate helicopter crashes this week.

Government media reports say more than 80 Emirati soldiers have been killed since operations there began on March 26, 2015.


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