The United Arab Emirates is Withdrawing From the Yemeni Quagmire
After four years of fighting, the United Arab Emirates [UAE] is abandoning their Saudi allies in Yemen as they begin to draw down their ground forces in what they are calling a “strategic redeployment." They had provided the bulk of the ground forces for the Sunni alliance as they have battled Yemen's Houthi rebels. The UAE's decision to begin withdrawing their forces seems to signal that they no longer believe a military victory is possible.
The New York Times: "The Emiratis “have simply tired of the stalemate and dim prospects for victory on the battlefield,” said one American official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal government assessments."
Moreover, the war has become a humanitarian nightmare for the alliance.
The New York Times: "The Saudis and Emiratis have endured growing international criticism for the consequences of their air campaign, which has killed about 8,000 civilians, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, and for policies of economic warfare that have constricted the food supply in much of the Houthi-controlled north."
The Saudis have begun to move their own forces into areas from which the UAE has withdrawn, but it's not clear that the Saudis can or are willing to fill the vacuum left by the UAE's withdrawal."
The New York Times: “The only thing stopping the Houthis from taking over Yemen was the U.A.E. armed forces,” said Michael Knights, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute. “Now the glue that was holding Yemen together is being withdrawn.”
So, it now seems much more likely that Riyadh will be forced to seek a negotiated settlement to the war, one that will give the Houthis, and their Iranian backers, a significant say in the future of Yemen. That would represent a major set-back for the Saudis who have been intent on destroying the Houthi resistance and undermining Iran's stature in the region.
By: Don & Curated Content