Family suffers second loss to Yemen conflict
Soldier killed in line of duty just months after cousin dies in combat
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.