Hossein Ruyvaran, in describing the reasons for the UAE decision to withdraw its military forces from Yemen, said: “With the developments that have taken place in the Yemeni war, the UAE was disappointed with a victory in this battle. At the same time, given the tensions the UAE has experienced in recent weeks, new priorities have been created for the country.”
More specifically, the summoning of the UAE ambassador in Tehran and presentation of all the radar records showing that Iran had monitored the aggressive American drone from the time it took off from the al-Dhafra base until it entered the territorial waters of Iran and was shot down could not be imagined for the Emirates.
He explained: “These issues, first of all, show that Iran has full dominance on the scene, and secondly if anything happens Iran will regard the UAE responsible for it.” This has greatly affected the UAE. The United Arab Emirates imagined that the US was right in its claim that the plane was stealthy, and that without knowing from where it took off it could implement its plans, while Iran’s intelligence showed that it had full military information about the situation and that Tehran would keep an eye on the role of the UAE in this regard.
Ruyvaran added the Fujairah incident occurred in the waters of the Emirates and the downing of the drone too was related to the UAE because it took off from the Emirates. This incidentally places the Emirates in the list of tension creating elements. It could be said that the set of these issues forced the Emirates to withdraw its troops from Yemen, because of new priorities for maintaining its security.
The West Asian affairs expert said there was a possibility for the UAE to withdraw all its troops from Yemen. “The (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council, however, had joined the Yemeni war in favour of Saudi Arabia collectively, but now we see Kuwait, which had sent six aircraft has withdrawn them and plays no role in the Yemeni war any longer; Qatar which sent 12 planes, called them back; even Bahraini which continues to be siding with Saudi Arabia, called its troops back from Yemen.”
The analyst emphasized that all countries have priorities and so far the priorities of the UAE are not to completely pull out troops from Yemen. “In Yemen, of course, the field equations are changing, so that in the field, the Yemeni forces are taking the initiative and have released 2,000 square kilometres in southern Yemen, where the Emirati troops were deployed. This represents a transformation in the war. The use of drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles and attacks on Saudi Arabia all reflect the fact that Riyadh and its allies do not have the potential to win the war, and the UAE incentives are declining ever before.”
Pointing to the widespread disagreements between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the analyst noted: “The Emirates tried to seize the ports of Yemen and the Socotra Island, and was doing it within the framework of “DP World” Company. The company now has more than 10 international ports and the expansion of the role of the UAE in managing the ports of the world is a matter of importance for the country. The UAE imagined it could handle the administration of the Yemeni ports, but now it has come to the conclusion that conditions do not move in a direction to fulfil such a demand. In southern Yemen, people demonstrated against the UAE, and the demonstration showed that the UAE did not have a social base to create and sustain such a situation.”
At the same time, he pointed the sharp differences between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and said: “Abu Dhabi is taking political stands in an alliance with Saudi Arabia, but for Dubai, the yardstick is its own needs. Dubai has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the city to attract tourists, to have secure airports, and create free, commercial cyber-media areas. All of this requires ensuring of security, and the UAE intervention in Yemen virtually threatens Dubai’s security. Dubai is seeking security, while Abu Dhabi is seeking political influence for political reasons, and the two have serious conflicts in this regard.”
The Middle East expert continued: “Even when Ansarallah targeted the Dubai airport, Dubai did not disclose the incident because it was a sign of insecurity and could cause capital flight from Dubai. The Emirates tried to deny the incident had happened despite video clips released by Ansarallah. Therefore, Dubai’s priorities are completely different from the priorities of Abu Dhabi.
In the end, the analyst stressed that the retreat of the Emirates from Yemen would help Yemen to become more united and that the crisis would end sooner. “This is an important point. In Sudan too, the people chanted slogans calling for the return of the Sudanese troops dispatched to Yemen. Five brigades deployed in southern Saudi Arabia are Sudanese. If they leave the country, Ansarallah can advance as far as it wants. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have little ground force and rely on mercenaries.”