Yemen’s last attempt: reorganization of mercenaries

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Saudi Arabia is reorganizing and reorienting coalition troops following the gradual withdrawal of Emirati forces from Yemen. The announcement in early July by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was a key member of the Riyadh-led military coalition, completely upset the latter’s forecasts.

Saudi Arabia is in the process of restructuring its coalition through concentrated recruitment camps in the south of the country, according to Tasnim News quoting Al-Akhbar newspaper.

Washington key ally and pillar of the military coalition in Yemen, Abu Dhabi announced on July 11 a reduction of its troops in the war-torn country, as part of a so-called “redeployment” that will allow him to move from a “strategy” primarily “military” to a logic of “peace”. However, to fill the void caused by the departure of the emirati mercenaries, Riyadh launched a new call for tenders for recruitment.

In this context, with the arrival of Saudi forces and other forces loyal to General Mohsen al-Ahmar, deputy to the resigning Yemeni president, after their training in the province of Hadramaut, local sources told Al-Akhbar that Riyadh was trying to reshuffle its “People’s Committee” funded in 2012 under the pretext of the fight against terrorism. According to sources, Saleh al-Mashajari, a Salafi cleric, reportedly managed to recruit more than 15,000 new popular forces with Saudi support.

It should be noted that last month Saleh al-Mashajari set up al-Amajed camp in Lawdar town of Abyan province, where 4,000 young people were recruited. He opened another camp in the center of Abyan, mobilizing nearly 11,000 young people.

These recruitments were made without coordination with the Ministry of Defense of the Mansour Hadi government, but under the aegis of the Saudi leaders.

Information on the active People’s Committee between 2012 and 2015 shows that Brigadier Abdulteyf al-Sayyed, who currently commands the Abu Dhabi-backed Seat Belt militia in Abyan, led the popular committee in question.

Although a large portion of the UAE commanders have withdrawn from Yemen’s western coastline, the Seat Belt is still present in Abyan. After that, Riyadh thought of appointing another commander and restructuring the popular committee of 25,000 members.

The movement of the revolutionary youth of Abyan, one of the local movements opposed to the Saudi coalition, warned Saudi Arabia against the mobilization of new recruits. In fact, Saudi Arabia is trying to exploit the region, which is suffering from an economic recession, deteriorating public services and extreme poverty.

In a statement released last week, the movement said the new mercenary recruitment process triggered a new phase of attrition and accused Saleh al-Mashajari of recruiting al Qaeda elements to Bayda.

In this regard, the coalition command in Riyadh has ordered the transfer of the 4,000-strong Eagle Brigade from Najran to the southern border of Saudi Arabia to Abyan province. The brigade is planning to increase its strength to 6,000 men, 2,000 of whom would come from the border areas between Abyan and southern Shabwah.

A large number of Saudi mercenaries are also deployed on one of the west coast fronts near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. According to military sources, Saudi Arabia officially took over the supervision of these forces this month.

In light of these events, the Yemeni Supreme Political Council based in Sana’a warned against the renewed fighting of the Saudi coalition in Yemen. He pointed out that international attention to the war in Yemen could lead to peace, and that Saudi Arabia was striving to withdraw from the Yemeni quagmire, regardless of the price.

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