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UAE Pulls Most Forces from Yemen in Blow to Saudis

The United Arab Emirates has pulled most of its forces from the Yemen “quagmire” in a “face-saving” decision that has deeply upset its Saudi allies, The New York Times has said.

UAE officials have been saying for several weeks that they have begun a phased and partial withdrawal of forces, estimated at 5,000 troops a few years ago.

However, significant reduction has already occurred, the Times quoted Western and Arab diplomats briefed on the drawdown as saying.

Over the past month, the UAE has cut its deployment around the strategic Red Sea port of Hudaydah by 80 percent to fewer than 150 men, according to people briefed on the drawdown. They have pulled out their attack helicopters and heavy guns, effectively precluding a military advance on the city.

 

The UAE, according to a senior Emirati official, says the drawdown is intended to support a shaky United Nations-brokered ceasefire in Hudaydah that came into effect in December.

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