Bri­tish gen­eral: UAE took fight to Al Qaeda

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS -

A se­nior Bri­tish mil­i­tary of­fi­cer has said the UAE played a piv­otal role in lib­er­at­ing the Ye­meni port of Mukalla from Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula, (AQAP). Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Sir Si­mon May­all, a re­tired Army com­man­der and a Mid­dle East Ad­viser at the Min­istry of De­fence, said in a let­ter to the UK’s Daily Tele­graph that, “one of the world’s dead­li­est in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions has been dealt a body blow.” Dur­ing its oc­cu­pa­tion of Mukalla, which ended last month, he noted, AQAP had “ex­ploited the chaos of the civil war in Ye­men to make danger­ous gains, in­clud­ing tak­ing the port city of Mukalla, from which it has been col­lect­ing mil­lions of dol­lars a week through ex­tor­tion and the smug­gling of weapons and oil.” The re­cap­ture of the port by Ye­meni Govern­ment forces and coali­tion troops led by the UAE, he added, was fol­lowed up by im­me­di­ate hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance from the UAE. “UAE mil­i­tary plan­ners have put lo­cal peo­ple at the fore­front of their thinking, with hu­man­i­tar­ian aid flights land­ing within hours of the cap­ture, and a fur­ther $20 mil­lion com­mit­ted to help­ing re­build the city port,” he said. Prais­ing the UAE for its role, Sir Si­mon added: “I hope the wider in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity will take note, and con­trib­ute more ac­tively to a po­lit­i­cal res­o­lu­tion in Ye­men that will ben­e­fit the peo­ple of that coun­try and the whole re­gion.”

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