Daesh bomb attack hits UAE military kitchen in Yemen

At least four people have been killed in a Daesh suicide operation against the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed forces today, Anadolu Agency reported.

The car smashed into a military kitchen hall serving Yemeni forces in northern Aden. Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack on the group’s Amaq News Agency, which says more than 30 people were killed.

The incident follows an attack last month by Daesh on a counter-terrorism unit headquarters based in Aden, killing some 14 people and injuring 40. Suicide bombers detonated two cars laden with explosives at the camp’s entrance whilst up to six gunmen stormed the unit.

Daesh has continued its attacks in Yemen, while Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has remained silent on its open source networks since 23 March. In a move to challenge the groups, the UAE has conducted up to three counter-terrorism missions in Yemen against AQAP, with the latest one ending yesterday called ‘Operation Sweeping Torent’ in Abyan governorate. The focus of the operations is to militarily push AQAP out of southern Yemen.

The UAE has trained three security forces, including the “Security Belt Forces (also referred to as Al-Hizam Brigades) largely deployed in southwest Yemen; the Hadrami Elite Forces deployed in the governorate of the Hadramawt; and the Shabwani Elite Forces deployed to southern Shabwa”, according to a 29-page counter-terrorism report published last month.

According to a report by Yemen experts for the UN, the UAE-backed forces are primarily made up of Yemenis recruited from southern governorates, are paid an average of $800 per month and have been deployed in Abyan, Aden and Lahij.

The UAE entered Yemen in 2015 as part of the Saudi-led coalition to assist the Yemeni government with threats posed by the Iranian-backed Houthi group which currently controls the capital Sana’a. All of the UAE’s military and political efforts focus on southern Yemen, where it has supported the Southern Transitional Council since last year.

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