The grand ceremony marking the return of UAE soldiers from Yemen at the Zayed Military City in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Image Credit: WAM

The war in Yemen was a turning point in our region’s modern history. And history rewards those who step in at the time of need, despite all odds, to do the right thing.

Five years ago, foreign-backed rogue militias posed unprecedented threat to the region’s security and stability. Saudi Arabia and the UAE took a bold stand in the face of that threat to defend and restore the security of this part of the world, shortly after the Al Houthi militias overthrew the legitimate government and captured almost all of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa in the north and the Aden in the south.

The Saudi-led coalition goals were very clear — to restore the legitimate government, help the people of Yemen rebuild their country and alienate the existential threat to our region and countries. Saudi Arabia and the UAE sure paid dearly, with blood and sacrifices. But they are on the right side of history.

The UAE today feels proud and honoured...we will always be grateful to our martyrs whose extraordinary sacrifices are immortalised in the nation’s history.

- Gulf News

Today, as the UAE soldiers return home, and we have never been prouder. The entire world should also be grateful for the job they did in Yemen; restoring security and alleviating the suffering of millions of families in that country. The UAE forces fought and liberated most of Yemen but the same time they helped build roads, hospitals, schools and secured airports, ports and vital Yemeni resources. They ensured critical aid reached the impoverished population. They restored hope.

Shortly after the start of the campaign, the UAE forces succeeded in liberating and securing the provisional capital Aden. They also liberated Lahj, Abyan, Maareb and other important cities that were under the brutal control of Al Houthi and other terrorist organisations such as Al Qaida. Today, Al Houthis are surrounded in a small patch of land in the north and Al Qaida, or whatever is left of it, is on the run.

Security in most parts of Yemen has been restored. Regular education has resumed. Hospitals have been rebuilt and supplies are moving in regularly. Normal life is steadily shaping up. The military and humanitarian efforts by Saudi Arabia and the UAE have certainly created the right environment of the long-awaited political process which hopefully will give the proud people of Yemen the chance to put their house in order.

The UAE today feels proud and honoured. As we salute today the achievements and courage of our returning heroes, we will always be grateful to our martyrs whose extraordinary sacrifices are immortalised in the nation’s history.

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