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UAE to dispatch more mercenaries to Yemen: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Emirati soldiers, taking part in the Saudi military campaign against Yemen, stand during operations at al-Anad airbase in Lahij Province, Yemen, October 5, 2015. ©AFP

The United Arab Emirates has signed a $529-million contract with a security firm to send more mercenaries to Yemen to fight alongside Saudi forces in the impoverished war-torn country.

The accord was inked between Major General Eisa Saif Mohammad al-Mazroui, representing the Emirati forces, and a person identified as Michael Romy, representing the security services company Reflex Responses Management Consultancy LLC, Yemen’s al-Masirah TV reported.

Under the deal, the Abu Dhabi-based firm has agreed to provide the units of Emirati mercenaries with security services.

In another development on Thursday, Masirah reported that the Yemeni army and popular committees thwarted an attack by the Saudis on the Jabal ad Dabas base in the Wazi'iyah district of the southwestern province of Ta’izz. Twenty mercenaries were killed.

Saudi warplanes further conducted fresh airstrikes on Ta’izz, and the provinces of Jawf and Lahij. The airstrikes left dozens of people dead or injured.

On Wednesday, Yemeni forces also foiled another assault by Saudi mercenaries in Jawf’s al-Maslub District.

A Yemeni boy runs past buildings that were damaged by Saudi airstrikes on the old city of the capital, Sana’a, March 23, 2016. ©AFP

Yemen has seen almost daily military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March 2015. More than 9,400 people have been killed and at least 16,000 others injured since the onset of the campaign.

Saudi Arabia launched its offensive against Yemen in a bid to bring the resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of the Riyadh regime, back to power and undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The Houthis took state matters into their own hands after the resignation and escape of Hadi, which threw Yemen into a state of uncertainty and threatened a total security breakdown in the country, where an al-Qaeda affiliate is present.

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