PHOTO: Bodies of UAE troops killed in Friday blast in Yemen arrive in Abu Dhabi (WAM)
The Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement, who control Yemen’s capital Sanaa, struck a deadly blow on Friday against Gulf States who have intervened in the civil war.
At least 45 soldiers from the UAE and five from Bahrain were killed when a missile hit a weapons storage depot near their position in Marib Province, about 120 km (74 miles) east of Sanaa. The office of Yemen’s exiled president, Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi, said Yemeni troops had also died in the incident but did not give numbers.
Hours later, UAE warplanes attacked Ansar Allah targets in several locations.
A Saudi-led coalition intervened in March as Ansar Allah expanded its hold across Yemen, threatening the Hadi Government in the southern port of Aden. While Saudi Arabia has confined itself to aerial operations, the UAE has sent in thousands of troops as Ansar Allah was pushed back in the south.
The death toll is believed to be the highest for the UAE military since the Emirates federation was founded in 1971. Three days of mourning have been declared.
At least five other Emirati soldiers have been killed in Yemen since March.
Bahrain’s monarchy said five of its soldiers were killed in southern Saudi Arabia, defending border with Yemen. However, the Yemeni exiled presidency said the Bahrainis died from the missile strike.