According to Reuters as many as 800 ground troops were deployed in Yemen late Tuesday evening, adding on to the already present Saudi-led coalition’s numbers in their mission to neutralize the Houthi rebels threat to Exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and his government after a 5-month civil war.
This instance is the first reported deployment of ground troops there by Egypt which commands one the Arab world’s strongest armies.
The Saudi led coalition has achieved significant progress on the ground against Houthi militia, backing a push by Yemeni fighters loyal to exiled president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to recapture much of the country’s south and now advancing on the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa.
Four Egyptian units of between 150 – 200 troops accompanied by tanks and transport vehicles arrived in Yemen late Tuesday evening, said two Egyptian security sources.
“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 estimate the number of foreign troops from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates to be around at least 2,000, while Al-Jazeera TV reported at least 10,000 foreign troops including 1,000 from the UAE.
They are part o f a coalition force that plans to eventually aid Yemeni Loyalist Militia in retaking the Yemeni capital Sanaa which the Houthis seized earlier this year.