Egyptian security sources: Egypt sends up to 800 ground troops to Yemen's war

By REUTERS
September 9, 2015 15:52

1 minute read.



SANAA - As many as 800 Egyptian soldiers arrived in Yemen late on Tuesday, Egyptian security sources said, swelling the ranks of a Gulf Arab military contingent which aims to rout the Iran-allied Houthi group after a five-month civil war.

It was the first reported deployment of ground troops there by Egypt, which has one of the Arab world's strongest armies.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia has scored major gains against the militia and its allies in Yemen's army, backing a push by Yemeni fighters to seize much of the country's south and now setting its sights on the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa.

Four Egyptian units of between 150 to 200 troops along with tanks and transport vehicles arrived in Yemen late on Tuesday, two Egyptian security sources said.

"We have sent these forces as part of Egypt's prominent role in this alliance ... the alliance fights for the sake of our brotherly Arab states, and the death of any Egyptian soldier would be an honor and considered martyrdom for the sake of innocent people," a senior Egyptian military source said.

Yemeni officials put the number of foreign troops from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar at least around 2,000, while Qatari-owned Al Jazeera TV said at least 10,000 foreign soldiers had arrived, including 1,000 from the emirate.

They are part of a force preparing to eventually assault the capital, which the Houthis seized last year.


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