UAE Downplays Rift With Saudis After Yemen Fighting

Ceasefire holds, talks are planned

After weekend fighting in which UAE-backed separatists took over the southern Yemen capital of Aden, it changed things substantially in war-torn Yemen, and in particular, raised questions about the state of affairs between the Saudi-backed invasion force and the UAE-backed factions.

You’d think UAE officials would have a lot to say about this, but in reality, they were largely mum on the matter, downplaying the idea of any serious split between themselves and the Saudis, despite those two factions fighting, and playing up the idea that talks would resolve everything.

Talks, but not necessarily solutions. Though the UAE tried to present the status quo as largely intact in South Yemen, Aden has fallen to their forces, and nowhere in any of their comments that the separatists were going to give back the city.

Since UAE-backed forces and Saudi-backed forces are roughly the same size by most estimates, a full scale war within a war would benefit neither, and it seems both are going to let things go pending the talks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.