Saudi Arabia is taking its first military action after the UAE has reduced its forces in Yemen

The Saudi forces deployed in Yemen have taken steps to secure two strategic ports in Yemen in the Red Sea after the UAE has reduced its military presence there, four informed sources told Reuters.

Two Yemeni military officers and Yemeni government officials told Reuters that Saudi officers had taken command of the military bases at the Mukha and Nukha ports, which UAE forces were using to support the military campaign, which was aimed at taking control of nearby Hodeidah and controlling the coast.

Riyadh also sent an unspecified number of troops to the coastal city of Aden and the small volcanic island of Prim in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, a strategic shipping corridor connecting the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, according to IAEA sources.

No one from the Arab-led coalition, led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen or the UAE government, has responded to requests to comment on the news, Reuters reported.

It is not expected that these changes in military command will lead to a minor change in the course of the war or the ceasefire agreement in Hodeidah, which was concluded with the support of the United Nations last year in Sweden between the Yemeni government backed by Saudi Arabia and the Houthis allied with Iran .

However, the IAEA report predicted that the expansion of the Saudi presence on the ground would intensify international criticism of the kingdom's role in the war that caused the worst humanitarian crisis in the world and killed thousands of civilians as a result of air strikes.

The UAE, the second-largest coalition force, has already reduced its units in some parts of Yemen, setting up large military bases during the four-year war, widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Source: Reuters

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Nawfal Mohammed

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