The scourge of terrorism has cast a long and dark shadow across swathes of the Middle East, and rolling back the evildoers requires a determined course, application of resources and training with partners working towards a common goal. Indeed, when it comes to fighting terrorism, the role of the Leadership, Government and Armed Forces of the UAE has been exemplary.
Over the past three years, the UAE has been a key partner in the international coalition working within the ambit of United Nations Security Council resolutions to restore the legitimate government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Yemen, fighting Al Houthi militias and others who have threatened the peace and stability of our Arab brothers there. In the vacuum of chaos, the terrorists of Al Qaida have gained a foothold; so too others aligned with Daesh.
The Armed Forces of the UAE have, during its mission in Yemen, developed a blueprint that has proved effective in defeating the forces of extremism and terrorism. It’s a multifaceted mission and includes taking on the terrorists and destroying them, and then creating a secure and peaceful environment where peace and normality can prosper — but under the auspices of local security forces who are professional and well-trained with modern tools to counter extremists.
The mission is bearing positive results, with no major terrorist attack reported in the past three years by Al Qaida and other extremist groups who use the chaos wrought by Al Houthis as a cover for cowardly strikes. Pertinent to mention that Al Houthis, who share their ideology with Al Qaida, are also on the back foot. What’s worth remembering is that the hard work undertaken by the UAE in Yemen is bearing fruit there — and elsewhere as well.
When extremists are deprived of their training grounds, when they are hunted down and eradicated, when there are few if any safe hiding places, it’s hard for misguided and radicalised men to be able to travel there and learn the dark arts of terrorism that bring havoc. That’s a key point that’s too often forgotten by those who look at Yemen and fail to understand the nature of the mission there undertaken on behalf of the UN.
There are many fronts in the fight against terrorism, and as the mission of the UAE in Yemen has shown, success is hard-won and requires many strands working together. That’s how the terrorists of Al Qaida and Al Houthis are being defeated.