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After Yemen, the UAE’s next target could be Libya

10 3 0

Last week, the United Arab Emirates confirmed its troop drawdown from Yemen, which has raised questions about what Abu Dhabi’s next target will be.

“Many people asked if this is also linked to the current rise of tensions with Iran,” said a senior UAE official who declined to be named. “I would say fundamentally no… But of course we cannot be blind to the overall strategic picture. It is very much to do with moving from what I would call a military-first strategy to a peace-first strategy.”

Whether Abu Dhabi is serious about the drawdown and the so-called “peace-first strategy” or not, this decision confirms the Saudi-led coalition’s failure in Yemen. When it started its operations back in 2015, it was made up of ten countries. Today, Riyadh increasingly looks isolated in the war that has led to what is now the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Although the UAE official said that the drawdown “was not a last-minute decision” and had been discussed extensively with Riyadh, this move is likely to cause some tension between the allies. Ever since the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his country’s Consulate in Istanbul back in October, we can say that this has been a period when Abu Dhabi has started to feel that it wants to distance itself from the Saudis, at least temporarily. When Riyadh hosted the “Davos in the Desert” investment conference a few........

© Middle East Monitor