Saudi-led coalition foils "terrorist" attack targeting ship in Red Sea

Clay Curtis
July 10, 2019

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday officially announced a partial military withdrawal from Yemen, after news had circulated in the global media for days.

The coalition, which includes in addition to Saudi Arabia and UAE: Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait, has been also imposing a harsh blockade against Yemenis.

Yemen's Houthi rebels carried out a drone attack on Abha International Airport in southern Saudi Arabia, the group's Al-Masirah TV said Monday.

The war escalated in March 2015 when the Saudi-UAE-led coalition launched a ferocious air campaign against the rebels in a bid to restore the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. "Withdrawing from Yemen is the ideal decision that must be taken at this time".

Houthi Shiite mourners chant slogans as they attend the funeral of Saleh al-Samad, a senior Houthi official who was killed by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike, April 28, 2018, in Sanaa, Yemen. The official declined to disclose how many soldiers have left Yemen and how many remain.

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Saudi Arabia and UAE intervened in Yemen's civil war in 2015. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and the war has generated the world's worst humanitarian crisis, drawing sharp bipartisan criticism in Congress.

Furthermore, Emirati-trained local troops will "continue to do [UAE] bidding" on the ground, he said.

He did not elaborate on whether the downed drone had been used in the attack on Abha Airport.

The official confirmed that UAE troop levels are down, describing it as a "strategic redeployment".

It also comes a week after a US Democratic senator warned Washington could cut off arms sales to the Emirates over a report the US ally shipped US missiles to Libyan rebels.

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