Araweelo News Network
Hadramout(ANN)- UAE-backed forces and the Yemen National Army launched an offensive dubbed “Al-Faisal” operation against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Hadramout yesterday, Ahram Online reported.
The Hadrami Elite Forces were also supported by Saudi-led coalition air strikes which targeted AQAP positions in the southern governorate. Major General Faraj Salmin Al-Bahsani, the governor of Hadhramout, announced the successful end to the operation.
Nineteen AQAP fighters and eight UAE-Yemen National Army soldiers were killed in the operation.
In August last year, a strategic offensive in southern Yemen’s Shabwa province was led by the UAE and US alongside 2,000 Shabwani Elite forces. The offensive resulted in pushing AQAP out of Shabwa and into the nearby Abyan governorate. The Shabwani Elite Forces was recruited two months prior to the offensive.
The Saudi-led coalition joined the Yemen civil conflict upon the request of internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in March 2015. None of the members of the coalition included counter-terrorism as part of their military objective until 2016.
The US has not publically acknowledged whether it took part in operation “Al-Faisal” over the past three days. US counter-terrorism strikes and raids have taken place in Yemen since 2002.
The UAE’s military presence in Yemen has focused on southern Yemen, supporting the Southern Transitional Council (STC) which seeks to secede from the north.
A 329-page report published by the United Nation’s last week found that the UAE operated secret prisons across southern Yemen, while in search for AQAP members.
Some 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since the civil war begun in late 2014.