Fresh UAE troops for Yemen
The first batch of soldiers deployed to Yemen will soon return and will be replaced by a second rotation of units.-File photo
Dubai - It's vital to rotate troops for resting and regrouping, says expert.
The deployment of a second batch of UAE troops to Yemen is a sign of the country's "continued commitment" to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition and to Yemen's rightful government, founder of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA) has said.
"Nothing changes, this is simply a renewal of the UAE's commitment that was launched to restore security, stability and the legitimate government of Yemen," INEGMA Founder and CEO Riad Kahwaji told Khaleej Times. "This is part of the mission."
Kahwaji's comments come as the General Command of the UAE's Armed Forces announced that the first "batch" of soldiers deployed to Yemen is set to return home, to be replaced by a second rotation of units.
Kahwaji noted that a rotation of units to and from the frontline in Yemen is important for the overall success of the Arab Coalition's campaign against Houthi militia and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
"It is vital to rotate troops in war zones," he said. "We need to give the troops time to rest, regroup and refresh."
According to Kahwaji, the troops will likely be re-deployed in phases to allow the fresh troops to learn from soldiers who have already been serving in Yemen, where they have recently had a string of successes re-capturing the historical city of Marib and the nearby Marib Dam.
"By bringing them back in phases, the troops already there will have an opportunity to work alongside fresh soldiers, so that they won't lose continuity," he said. "You keep some of the experienced ones. It will be a gradual introduction to the battlefield."
Kahwaji noted that he believes that the experience gained by the UAE's Armed Forces in Yemen will prove beneficial to the country's security posture in the future.
"The UAE is playing a vital role, and they've proven to be quite effective. The ground forces, the air force and even the navy have gained valuable experience," he said. "There is no experience like actual combat experience. This will help the UAE's defence and deterrent capabilities in the future.
"Although costly, it (the UAE's involvement in the Yemen campaign) has enhanced national unity."
Kahwaji's comments echo those of Dr Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a professor of political science at the UAE University.
"This shows determination. The UAE has started this and is willing to go through to the end," he said. "In a way it is a testament to the maturity of the UAE's Armed Forces. "The UAE has come of age as a soft power in the region, when it is called upon."