'Saudi military forces have reportedly moved in to be deployed in two strategic Red Sea ports and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait after the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a key part of the Saudi-led military coalition, said it was going ahead with plans to reduce the number of troops in Yemen.
Yemeni military officials and officials from Saudi-backed former regime, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Saudi officers have taken command of military bases at the ports of al-Mokha, situated 346 kilometers south of the capital Sana’a, and al-Khokha, which Emirati forces used to support their operations in the strategic coastal city of Hudaydah.
Saudi troops have also been dispatched to the southern Yemeni port city of Aden as well as the volcanic island of Perim in the Strait of Mandeb.
An unnamed senior Emirati official told reporters on Monday that the Persian Gulf country was planning troop drawdown in Yemen in what was claimed to be a shift from a military strategy to a "peace" plan instead.
He added, “We do have troop levels that are down for reasons that are strategic in (the Red Sea city of) Hudaydah and reasons that are tactical” in other parts of the country.
“It is very much to do with moving from what I would call a military first strategy to a peace first strategy, and this is I think what we are doing,” the Emirati official asserted.
In late June, Western diplomatic sources said the UAE was mulling over scaling back its military efforts in the war in Yemen to focus on threats posed by the rising US-Iran tensions.'
Read more: Saudi forces move to be deployed in Yemen ports after UAE drawdown: Sources
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