Dubai: While the tensions in the Middle East are rising over Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pulled out from the Yemen conflict. Since 2015, a comprehensive campaign was undertaken under Saudi leadership against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Even after four years, the battle has not yielded the expected level of success. The UAE has thus begun to pull out from the war due to the differences over it with Saudi, the foreign media claimed.
The Yemeni Houthi rebels have gained control over major ports and cities in the state. Also, the rebel groups are supported by the Iranian regime, which provides financial aid and arms supplies to them on a large scale. Furthermore, Iran is believed to be attempting to challenge the Saudi influence in the Middle East through the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The campaign in Yemen is therefore extremely critical for Saudi to maintain its power in the region.
In 2015, Saudi Arabia had formed a front of 10 allied nations from the Middle East and Africa and initiated an aggressive campaign against the Houthi rebels. Nearly 200,000 soldiers, and more than 200 fighter jets and warships were involved in the campaign. After Saudi, the UAE’s involvement in the war is considered very important. Even the United States had supported the Saudi campaign, as also supplied arms and funding for it.
However, even after four years, the Saudi military operation has not had any noteworthy success, whereas, the Houthi rebels attacks on Saudi have reportedly risen. On the sidelines of the developments, countries such as Qatar and Morocco have withdrawn from the conflict in the past two years because of the differences with Saudi. Following that, the UAE withdrawal from the battle is considered to be a significant jolt for Saudi. Thus far, the UAE had always been a firm supporter of Saudi in decisions concerning oil and other significant ones pertaining to the region. Nevertheless, the failure in Yemen has proved to be widening the rift of disputes between the UAE and Saudi.
The UAE military has begun pulling out its units from two main ports, as well as from Aden and Perim Island. The UAE had deployed more than 5,000 soldiers along with tanks and fighter jets in the areas. At the same time, Saudi began deploying its military units on the bases after the UAE military withdrawal in the regions. The UAE claimed that it had discussed the military withdrawal with Saudi, although both the countries have refrained from giving any official reaction.
Few international media and analysts have claimed that the UAE decision was attributed to the increasing tensions in the Middle East over Iran, and the criticism from the US as also the international community over the Yemen war.