UAE trains Yemeni fighters
ABU DHABI // Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Monday said that the people of Yemen are capable of facing all challenges and rebuilding their state in a Yemeni and Arab foundation.
Sheikh Mohammed spoke while receiving chiefs and dignitaries of Yemen’s Marib tribes, headed by Marib governor Sultan bin Ali Al Arrada and accompanied by brigadier general Mussalam Al Rashedi, commander of Marib Liberation Force. The guests thanked the UAE for supporting Yemen during the recent plight, after the coup staged by Iran-backed Houthi militias and their allies.
Sheikh Mohammed welcomed the representatives from Marib and said the UAE shared blood with its brothers in Yemen.
“The UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, always stand by brothers in the times of trials. The sacrifices of our sons and the sons of Yemen and of the other Arab Coalition countries will not go in vain. Such sacrifices will lay the foundation for a historic phase in the region that will preserve the Arab Yemen from external interventions and ensure regional security,” he said.
Sheikh Mohammed affirmed the Arab coalition’s determination to continue its support to the legitimate government in Yemen.
Meanwhile, the UAE Armed Forces finished training a new group of Yemeni resistance fighters that will now join Yemen’s army.
Yemen’s army is battling Iran-backed Houthi rebels and forces loyal to the country’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The army is supported by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of countries that includes the UAE.
The fighters received training in field and battle skills, the use of various weapons, internal security and first-aid.
In an interview with Abu Dhabi TV, Yemen’s foreign minister Riad Yassin Abdullah praised the UAE’s military.
“I think that the UAE army is one of the strongest I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of armies, their discipline, their devotion, this is a grade-A army,” he said.
He added that the Houthis had destroyed a large part of Yemen’s infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash blamed a hardline political group for delays in expelling the Houthi rebels from the south-western province of Taez.
Dr Gargash tweeted on Sunday that “had it not been for the failure of Al Islah and the Muslim Brotherhood to act”, Taez would already have been liberated.
Al Islah is a main component of the popular resistance, which also groups tribesmen, soldiers and southern separatists.
The party, highly influential in Taez, is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, which the UAE has banned as a terror group.
The UN said more than 5,700 people had been killed since the Saudi-led intervention in support of the Yemeni government was launched in March.
* with Agence France-Presse, Naser Al Wasmi, Wam
Updated: November 23, 2015 04:00 AM