In a surprise move, one of the major contributors to the Saudi invasion of Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, has announced it is withdrawing entirely from the conflict, with Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash declaring the “war is over for our troops.”
Gargash suggested some UAE troops might remain for “monitoring political arrangements,” and it was speculated that the fighting against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is largely led by the UAE and a separate war from the one against the Shi’ite Houthis, will continue.
The UAE had been a major contributor of ground troops to the Saudi war, which has lasted far longer than anyone expected. They had contributed not just members of their military, but fighters from their paramilitary of mostly South American mercenaries.
Yemeni officials downplayed the announcement, saying Emirati forces are still guarding the airport and presidential palace. Saudi officials refused to comment on the matter at all.
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