Fam­ily suf­fers sec­ond loss to Ye­men con­flict

Soldier killed in line of duty just months af­ter cousin dies in com­bat

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Ismail Se­bug­waawo @is­mailsebu

A young UAE of­fi­cer who has died in the war in Ye­men is the sec­ond mem­ber of his fam­ily to be killed while serv­ing his coun­try in the con­flict.

Lieu­tenant Rashid Ahmed Ab­dul­lah Al Habsi, 36 (pic­tured), died while tak­ing part in Op­er­a­tion Restor­ing Hope, as part of the Saudi-led coali­tion fight­ing the Houthi rebels in the coun­try, the Gen­eral Com­mand of the UAE Armed Forces said yes­ter­day.

His el­der brother, Ab­dul­lah Ahmed Ab­dul­lah Al Habsi, 38, said he was proud of his sib­ling’s sac­ri­fice, but that it marked a sec­ond blow for the fam­ily in just 12 months.

Last Au­gust, their cousin, First Cor­po­ral Fahim Saeed Al Habsi, 33, was killed when the ar­moured ve­hi­cle he and two col­leagues were trav­el­ling in hit a land­mine. Fahim was one of the first UAE sol­diers to die in the line of duty.

Ab­dul­lah Al Habsi last night told 7DAYS: “My brother [Rashid] last spoke with me by phone on Satur­day, to check how we were.

“He was in good spir­its and said he was happy serv­ing his coun­try.”

Al Habsi said his brother leaves be­hind three sons and two daugh­ters.

He joined the UAE Armed Forces in 1997, when he was just a teenager.

Ab­dul­lah Al Habsi added: “Los­ing two men is a big loss for one fam­ily, but I’m happy they died mar­tyrs. “I thank Al­lah, who has made our fam­ily strong in these dif­fi­cult mo­ments. I pray that all our mar­tyrs rest in peace.” Op­er­a­tion Restor­ing Hope was launched in 2015 to re­store the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Abd Rab­buh Mansur Hadi, af­ter it was over­thrown by Ira­nian-backed Houthi rebels in early 2015. Hamid Ab­dul­lah Al She­hhi, the brother-in law of Fahim (pic­tured), who was among the first UAE sol­diers to lose their lives in Ye­men, also said yes­ter­day: “It is a great loss for the fam­ily and the na­tion. But I feel hon­oured they are mar­tyrs.” Over 90 UAE sol­diers have been killed in the con­flict.

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