UAE – (WARSOOR) – The United Arab Emirates says the “war is over” for its troops in Yemen, though it may continue to keep them there for “counterterrorism operations”.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince and supreme commander of the UAE armed forces, carried the announcement on his official Twitter account late on Wednesday.
He was quoting Anwar Gargash, UAE’s junior minister for foreign affairs, 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 the Arabian Peninsula country, where they operate in the southern province of Hadramawt and the port city of Aden.
The spokesman for the Arab coalition assembled by Saudi Arabia did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In his remarks, Gargash defended the UAE’s decision to go to war in Yemen, saying that all political means had been exhausted in the crisis and that Iranian “interference” and support for the Houthis required decisive action.
“The military role has ended,” Riad Kahwaji, a military analyst, told Al Jazeera from Dubai.
“Now the Yemeni conflict has to be resolved through political means. Operation Decisive Storm and Operation Restoring Hope have achieved their objectives.”
Kahwaji ruled out the possibility of a dispute between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, key members of the Arab coalition.
“What we have seen over the past few weeks is Saudis retaliating to violations by the Houthis, who were fighting beyond their borders,” he said.
“We have not seen major operations against Houthi forces from either the Saudis or Emiratis.”
The Arab coalition accuses Iran of arming and supporting the Houthis, while Iran says it has only given the group political support.
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