PARIS: French special forces are present on the ground in Yemen with forces from the UAE, French newspaper Le Figaro reported on Saturday, citing two military sources.
The newspaper gave no further information about their activities. The Defence Ministry was not immediately available for comment, but its usual policy is not to comment on special forces’ operations.
A French parliamentary source recently told Reuters French special forces were in Yemen.
Forces from an Arab alliance entered the airport in Yemen’s main port city on Saturday, in the biggest battle of the coalition’s war against the Iran-aligned Al Houthi militia.
The French Defence Ministry said on Friday that France was studying the possibility of carrying out a mine-sweeping operation to provide access to the port of Hodeida once the coalition had wrapped up its military operations.
The ministry stressed that France at this stage had no military operations in the Hodeida region and was not part of the Saudi-led coalition.
France, along with the United States and Britain, backs the Arab coalition in the Yemen conflict and provides weapons to both Saudi Arabia and the UAE.