UAE not leaving Yemen despite drawdown

The United Arab Emirates has said it is not leaving Yemen despite a redeployment of its forces in the war-torn country, as Houthi rebels said they were ready to stop attacks on Saudi Arabia.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said “While we will operate differently, our military presence will remain. In accordance with international law, we will continue to advise and assist local Yemen forces.”

Earlier this month it said it was redeploying and reducing troops across Yemen.

The UAE is a key partner in a Saudi-led military coalition which intervened in Yemen in 2015 to back the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi against Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.

After four years of fighting, the Houthis still control much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

Since 2015, tens of thousands of people – mostly civilians – have been killed in the conflict.

The fighting has triggered what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with 3.3 million people displaced and 24.1 million – more than two-thirds of the population – in need of aid.

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