DUBAI — The United Arab Emirates has on Wednesday announced the end of its military operations in Yemen today.
The news was announced by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash made the announcement during a lecture held at the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi's court on Wednesday night.
In a tweet summarizing Gargash's remarks, Sheikh Mohammed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the armed forces, said: "Our standpoint is clear: war is over for our troops. We are monitoring political arrangements, empowering Yemenis in liberated areas."
According to Abu Dhabi owned newspaper, The National, Gargash discussed the difficult choice the UAE made to become involved in the war in Yemen and the disappointing results of peace talks.
"After 50 discouraging days of Yemeni peace talks in Kuwait, there is no unified vision for the future. There are alarming signs that the south wants to defect and that radicalism is on the rise," he was quoted saying by the newspaper.
Other obstacles Yemen faces include the rise of al-Qaida with the support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the minister added. He also criticized Iranian influence for fueling sectarian divisions in the region and "exporting chaos."
"War was never the choice but it was the only solution after exhausting all other outcomes," he was quoted.
"The future of stability means taking a bigger stance when it comes to national security. Legitimacy needs to be restored and the Iranian influence has to be stopped. It's time that the line be drawn."
Gargash added that the UAE would help to rebuild Yemen but ultimately "building Yemen is the role of the Yemenis."
According to Mahmoud Sharief Mahmoud, director of research at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, the military operations have ended.
"The role of the UAE noncombatant forces will begin with civilian forces in Yemen to start the process of nation building," Mahmoud said. He added that the UAE forces will remain in a security posture until the transition is complete.
"We should be expecting the return of UAE forces within the coming months as their will not be any immediate withdrawal until security is stabilized," Mahmoud added.
The announcement came on the back of the negotiations in Kuwait held between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels sponsored by the United Nations. The role of a military committee and the formation of a transitional government is one point of contention for the Saudis, said Mahmoud.
However, Mahmoud added that the agreement currently hangs on one point of contention: "Saudi has agreed on to all points of the agreement with the Houthi rebels. However, there was one point that was preventing them from finalizing it: the clause involved the role of the military committee and the timing of the formation of a transitional government." he said.
However a A statement from the coalition should be expected in the next coming days, Mahmoud added.
Another threat to the agreement, said Mahmoud, is the deputy leader of the Houthi rebels, Abdullah Al Razami, who is currently is amassing his forces towards the northern border of Yemen with Saudi Arabia in an attempt to derail the agreement."
Currently o One threat to the agreement remains. "The threat comes from the deputy leader of the Houthi rebels, Abdullah Al Razami who is currently is amassing his forces towards the northern border of Yemen with Saudi Arabia in an attempt to derail the agreement," he added.
No statements have been made by the Saudi government or the coalition leadership in Riyadh concerning the UAE announcement. Currently, the Saudi air and ground forces are engaging in Yemen along with a large number of troops from Sudan in addition to Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.