Egypt has sent condolences to Bahrain and the UAE on the deaths of their soldiers in Yemen on Friday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in an official statement.
On Friday night, 22 Emirati soldiers were killed after an attack by militants belonging to Ansar Allah, more commonly known as Houthis, on their camp in Maarib, according to the official Emirati news agency. “The soldiers were killed on duty of maintaining legitimacy and stability in Yemen,” Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said.
In the meantime, five Bahraini soldiers were killed on the southern borders between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the official Bahraini news agency announced, without providing further details on their deaths. However, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said: “The Bahraini soldiers were defending the Saudi-Yemeni borders.”
The attack came in response to heavy airstrikes launched on Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition to fight the Houthi rebels nearly a week ago. The coalition attack targeted boot-camps belonging to the Houthis in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.
Yemen has been under fire for six months since Saudi Arabia launched its first airstrikes on the country, and despite the different Yemeni views towards the airstrikes, civilians share a common struggle. The conflict has led to the deaths of thousands of Yemeni civilians and left dozens stranded in neighbouring countries.
Egypt has been engaged in the conflict by supporting Gulf countries in their attack against Yemenis, a decision that was heavily criticised by Yemeni civilians. Following the ouster of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood regime in 2013, the UAE has granted Egypt $3bn, in addition to other in-kind aid, such as buses for public transportation and development projects.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his Yemeni counterpart, Riyad Yassin, last Sunday to review the latest updates on the Yemen conflict and discuss bilateral cooperation between Egypt and Yemen.
As ships en route between the GCC and the Mediterranean pass through Yemen’s coastal waters, the country’s security status is crucial for several countries, especially oil exporting ones. However, Yemen has a history of conflict and division attempts between the north and the south.