Yemen resistance receives more UAE military vehicles
ADEN // A second convoy of Emirati military vehicles manned by pro-government fighters arrived in Taez city on Monday as the Saudi-led coalition said it was focusing on driving rebel forces from the province.
The armoured vehicles were sent from Aden, where they had been deployed to liberate the southern port city, said Moa’ath Al Yaseri, a leader of the popular resistance in Taez.
“There is no need for them in Aden, so the Saudi-led coalition decided to send them to participate in the battle for Taez,” he said.
The arrival of the new consignment of UAE vehicles, a week after the first batch, came a day after the spokesman of the Saudi-led coalition, Brigadier General Ahmed Al Asiri, aid its focus now was the liberation of Taez.
The coalition, in which Saudi Arabia and the UAE are playing leading roles, is seeking to restore Yemen’s internationally recognised government after the Iran-backed Houthi rebels overran the capital, Sanaa, last year and then advanced south to Aden. Following a campaign of air strikes launched in March, coalition troops joined pro-government fighters in driving the rebels out of Aden in July. The victory provided a base for pro-government forces to retake four other southern provinces — Lahj, Al Dhale, Abyan and Shabwa — with coalition support.
Mr Al Yaseri said the coalition would be sending more vehicles, and possibly troops, in preparation for a “decisive battle” for Taez.
He refused to reveal the number of military vehicles sent and where they were being deployed, saying this was military information that had to be kept from the rebels.
The coalition forces in Yemen were joined by another batch of Sudanese troops who arrived in Aden early on Monday morning.
“More than 400 Sudanese soldiers landed in Aden”, a commander of the pro-government forces said.
They will join 950 Sudanese soldiers who arrived in Aden last month. Some of them were deployed in the southern port and the strategic Al Anad airbase in adjacent Lahj province, the source said.
Yemeni officials had said the Sudanese forces would participate in the liberation of Taez city, but they have not yet been deployed there.
Meanwhile, the rebels fired more than 10 rockets at Al Thawrah hospital in Taez city on Sunday night, injuring three doctors.
Haitham Abdulmalik, a technician at the hospital, said the hospital was under the control of the popular resistance, whose fighters are treated there. “When the Houthis targeted the intensive care unit, there were 10 resistance fighters there who were injured in battle,” Mr Abdulmalik said.
Yemen’s foreign minister said on Monday that the continued attacks by the Houthi rebels showed they were “not serious” about expected UN-led peace talks.
“We want to go to negotiations in Geneva,” Riad Yassin said on the sidelines of an Arab League meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh. “But what they are doing inside Taez, and they are trying to re-attack places in the south ... shows that really they are not serious.”
* With additional reporting from Agence France-Presse
Updated: November 10, 2015 04:00 AM