20:03 GMT19 February 2020
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    DOHA (Sputnik) - The UAE troops, stationed in Yemen's southern province of Aden over the past four years for fighting the Houthi rebels, left the area and ceded control to the Saudi and Yemeni forces, the General Command of the UAE Armed Forces said in a statement on Wednesday.

    "After successfully completing the military mission for the liberation of Aden, ensuring its security guarantees and ceding control to the Saudi and Yemeni troops, the UAE forces left Aden. Aden was passed successfully to the Saudi and Yemeni forces pursuant to the responsibility emanating from the military strategy for the consolidation of the military gains in the area", the General Command said.

    According to the statement, the UAE troops would still remain part of the Arab coalition in Yemen that fights the Houthis on the Yemeni government's side.

    On Sunday, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said that the Arab coalition's troops in Aden would be repositioned in line with "the current operational tasks" and be transferred under the command of Saudi Arabia.

    In 2015, the Saudi-led coalition of Arab states joined the military conflict between the Houthis and the internationally recognised Yemeni government of President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi on the latter's side. The UAE troops, in particular, played a decisive role in liberating Aden from the Houthis and passing the province under Hadi's control.

    In summer 2019, Aden and several other southern areas were seized by the separatist Southern Transitional Council of Yemen, which reportedly had the backing of the United Arab Emirates. Hadi harshly criticized the UAE forces and demanded that they should be excluded from the Saudi-led Arab coalition.

    armed forces, war, military, Houthis, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen
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