RIYADH: UAE troops have ended their mission in Aden and transferred military control to Saudi and Yemeni forces.
The announcement from the General Command of the UAE Armed Forces brings to an end more than four years of operations in the city and province in southern Yemeni.
The Emirati troops arrived in Aden in 2015 to help Yemeni forces repel an invasion by Houthi militants.
The Iran-backed militia and its allies had seized the capital Sanaa months earlier and launched an offensive to capture the whole country and depose the internationally recognized government.
As part of the Arab Coalition with Saudi Arabia and Yemeni forces, the UAE troops helped drive the Houthis from southern Yemen and quell other extremist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and Daesh that were seeking to take advantage of the conflict.
The troops had “successfully accomplished their role in liberating and stabilising Aden, and transferring its charge to Saudi and Yemeni forces,” state news agency WAM reported.
The mission had foiled “Iranian attempts to infiltrate Yemen and dominate its affairs,” the General Command statement said. “As a result, security and stability were restored across the governorate.
“The forces also armed and trained the Yemeni forces in a way that would enable them to discharge their military responsibilities independently.”
The statement also paid tribute to the Emirati soldiers killed and injured during the operation.
The soldiers were received in Abu Dhabi by the UAE’s Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Bowardi, and Lt. Gen. Hamad Mohammed Thani Al-Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces.