Yemeni president visits UAE forces in Aden
ADEN // Yemen’s president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi visited the headquarters of UAE forces in Aden on Friday.
Emirati troops are in Yemen as part of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that, along with local forces, is aiming to restore Mr Hadi to power. He fled Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, in February after it was taken over by Iranian-backed rebels.
Mr Hadi congratulated the UAE for helping to push the rebels out of Aden in July. He also offered best wishes for Eid Al Adha.
Along with helping defeat the rebels, which include Houthi insurgents and soldiers loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, the UAE has provided millions of dirhams in aid to the country.
The Emirati Red Cresent has launched a drive called the Yemen: We Care campaign. Since the start of September the campaign has raised more than Dh502 million to help the more than 10 million Yemenis affected by the war.
During his visit, Mr Hadi also praised the high operational efficiency of how Emirati troops have carried out their mission. He said the servicemen and servicewomen were carrying out a historic role in their defence and promotion of the region’s security.
Dozens of UAE troops have died fighting in Yemen as part of the coalition.
“The Yemeni people will never forget and its wise leadership of the UAE this wonderful position being done towards Yemen and the roles of their children and their sacrifices to help Yemen and contribute to restore legitimacy,” Mr Hadi said.
Meanwhile, reports emerged about the Houthis siege of the western city of Taez, where pro-Hadi troops have a camp.
The Houthis control much of Taez province and on Friday attempted a ground attack on the city. At least 13 people were killed in fighting and air strikes by coalition jets.
The Houthis on Wednesday raided three international aid convoys travelling to Taez province with much-needed medicine and food.
“It is almost impossible to send aid to Taez,” said Hassan Boucenine of the Geneva-based aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres. “Until a couple of weeks ago, you could send some during the day, but not anymore,” he added.
As a result, Taez residents now have “no medicine or vegetables,” said human rights activist Abdel Baset Al Samei.
* Wam, Agence France-Presse
Updated: September 25, 2015 04:00 AM