The withdrawal of the UAE .. Leave Saudi Arabia alone in the "Yemeni quagmire"? | Politics and Economy -

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The UAE says a reduction in the number of troops in Yemen is part of a "redeployment" plan for "strategic and tactical" reasons Is moving from a "military power strategy" to a "peace first" plan in the country, a senior UAE official told the media, declining to be identified.

For his part, Abdul Khaleq Abdullah, an academic who is close to the ruling circles in the UAE, identified the reasons for the UAE withdrawal in this tweet:

According to Farah al-Musallami, a Yemeni expert at the Chatham House Royal Institute for International Relations in Britain, the UAE "changed its strategy of relying more on local agents, while reducing its military presence And to maintain its presence in the west coast and in Aden in some way. "The Muslim believes that this has to do with the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the movement of international ships," because of the presence of the UAE on the opposite side of the sea in the Horn of Africa, the UAE will not leave its interests in the region so easily"He said.

On the other hand, experts and observers on the Yemeni issue that the UAE has been seeking for a while to get out of the "Yemeni quagmire" and hand over responsibility to Yemeni forces allied with it. The UAE says it is not worried about "a vacuum in Yemen" because it trained "90 thousand Yemeni troops in total", considering it one of "great successes" there.

"The bulk of the field operations are carried out by the Yemeni forces established by the Arab-led coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE," said Riad Qahwaji, director of the Near East and Gulf Institute for Military Analysis in Dubai. During the past years "so the UAE withdrawal does not seem surprising, he said during an interview withArabic.

The UAE has formed and armed local forces leading the battle on the Red Sea coast and in the eastern city of Marib, where the UAE is there symbolically and a number of batteries Patriot in the city of Sarawah to be replaced by Saudi forces.

Reasons for an "undeclared" exit?

- Exclusive Deutsche Waffen in Jemen SPERRFRIST 26.02.2019 20 Uhr VAE Soldaten Rückkehr (picture-alliance / dpa / EPA / ENA)

However, despite the statements made, there are other factors that may be behind the UAE withdrawal from Yemen. Perhaps the most important of these reasons is the fear of Abu Dhabi from hitting its airports through the Huthi aircraft march along the lines of what is happening to Saudi airports currently, in addition to the loss of life suffered by the coalition forces, which does not appear to be the figures declared reality.

Other reasons include mounting international pressure over the horrific human rights abuses, such as the high number of civilian casualties, the massive famine of the country, and the atrocities that have been spread around secret prisons run by UAE forces. All these reasons may be motivated by the UAE to avoid any additional losses or criminal prosecutions that may be exposed in the future or may affect its relations with the countries from which the arms are imported.

Also among the reasons is the shaking of the image of the UAE, which was marketing itself to the world as a model that can be emulated in progress and development, but this picture was badly damaged with the name of the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.

It is also likely that the UAE will be satisfied with this war with its gains in Yemen after controlling the most strategic and vital areas of the country from islands and ports to control maritime shipping lanes and to secure its large military base at the Eritrean seaport of Eritre the Red.

"The tense situation between Iran and the United States and the great fear of the development of these incidents to become a war, which could have severely affected the UAE military decisions, necessitates reassessing its priorities and redeploying its forces to be ready for any Emergency "and that" these developments have had a significant impact on the decision of the United Arab Emirates regarding the withdrawal of its forces from Yemen"He said.

A Saudi-UAE dispute?

The UAE has confirmed several times the depth of cooperation with Saudi Arabia, and reiterated this when it announced That its withdrawal from Yemen was coordinated in advance with Saudi Arabia, whose troops will replace the UAE forces in some places.

But the Wall Street Journal published a report in which it pointed to the escalating differences over the strategy to be followed in Yemen, the Saudi-UAE difference around which deepens the crisis between the two countries, and perhaps the attack of some Yemeni satellite channels broadcasting from Saudi Arabia on Abu Dhabi is one manifestation of this dispute.

Saudi-Arabien Riad Prinzen Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Mohammed bin Salman (picture-alliance / AA / B. Algaloud)

Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

Elizabeth Dickinson, a Yemen expert at the International Crisis Institute in Brussels, believes that the UAE views the conflict in Yemen in two separate directions: the first is the struggle against the Houthis and the second is efforts to bring back extremists and Islamists in the south. Dickinson addsArab that Abu Dhabi thought that control of the port of Hodeidah on the Red Sea will move the conflict to a new stage and allows political talks that will end the Houthi conflict, "but I think the battle will be swamped and exacerbate the current humanitarian crisis"He said.

Analysts believe that the UAE is behind this withdrawal to involve Saudi Arabia in Yemen more and leave it alone in a sea of ​​mobile sand, which weaken its strength little by little to enable the UAE to maximize its influence in the region at the expense of Saudi Arabia engaged in wars and conflicts.

But Farah al-Musallami, a Yemeni expert at the Chatham House Institute of International Relations in Britain, believes these are "The UAE has ambitions and influence in the region, but it certainly works with Saudi Arabia in high coordination. The two countries have common borders and Saudi Arabia has a very large, strategic and important country in the region and the relationship between the two is mutually important."

And Muslim Muslims "The UAE is smarter than to abandon Saudi Arabia, not for Yemen, but for the most important one, the crisis of Qatar, which Abu Dhabi regards as its biggest problem at the moment," he said. Will not abandon Saudi Arabia for different approaches in Yemen and needs it in the biggest crisis with Qatar"He said.

Emad Hassan

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