The United Arab Emirates, a key member of the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, is scaling back its military presence there as worsening U.S.-Iran tensions threaten security closer to home, four western diplomatic sources said.

The UAE has pulled some troops from the southern port of Aden and Yemen’s western coast, two of the diplomats said, areas where the Gulf state has built up and armed local forces who are leading the battle against the Houthi forces along the Red Sea coast.

Three of the diplomats said Abu Dhabi preferred to have its forces and equipment on hand should tension between the United States and Iran escalate further after attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf and Tehran’s downing of a U.S. unmanned drone.

“It is true that there have been some troop movements … but it is not a redeployment from Yemen,” a senior Emirati official told Reuters, adding that the UAE remains fully committed to the military coalition and “will not leave a vacuum” in Yemen.

 

Source: Reuters

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