Emirates secretly pays Colombian mercenaries to fight in Yemen

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 26.11.2015 15:42
Updated 26.11.2015 17:07
Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi (L) visiting the Al-Anad airbase in the southern province of Lahj, Yemen, 24 November 2015 (EPA Photo)
Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi (L) visiting the Al-Anad airbase in the southern province of Lahj, Yemen, 24 November 2015 (EPA Photo)

The United Arab Emirates has secretly sent 450 Latin American paid mercenaries to fight as part of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's civil war fought between the Houthi rebels and the Yemeni government, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

A majority of the mercenaries are reportedly Colombian, but the group also includes soldiers from Panama, El Salvador, and Chile.
The Colombian soldiers come from an U.A.E military base that has been secretly operating for five years, which reportedly trains an 1800 brigade.

The troops will be fighting in support of pro-Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi Yemeni government, backed by the Saudi-led coalition [also includes the United States] which is against the Shi'ite Houthi rebels loyal to the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, backed by Iran.

Earlier in 2015, Houthi rebels took over Yemen's official capital Sanaa, forcing the government to go on exile. The government has relocated the capital to Aden since then.

Saudi Arabia and Iran, both reportedly pay foreign fighters, mainly Sudanese, Ethiopian, or Eritrean, to fight in their lines as proxies, the report has claimed.

The report claims that Emirates pick Colombians particularly, as they are familiar with guerilla warfare fighting against Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for many years.

The civil war in Yemen, which began as a consequence of Arab Spring revolutions in late 2010, has resulted in deaths of more than 6000 civilians and destroying the country, pushing the more than 20 million people [80 percent of the population] to a humanitarian disaster, including famine, UN has said.

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