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 launching a wide war on the country, Reuters news agency reported.
It was the second reported deployment of ground troops there by Egypt. The first was in 1962 when Cairo dispatched 70 thousand, while only half of them returned home in 1967, as the rest were killed by the Yemeni resistance fighters.
Egyptian security sources stated that four Egyptian units of between 150 to 200 troops along with tanks and transport vehicles arrived in Yemen late on Tuesday.
“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.
Worthy to note that Yemen is a member-state of the Arab League that combines all Arab states under one umbrella.
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 UAE.
Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asseri, a spokesman for the coalition, told Reuters its forces were focusing on overcoming the Yemeni resistance in central and southern provinces, pounding their positions from the air across the country before beginning any thrust towards Sanaa.
Residents reported heavy air raids on military bases throughout Sanaa on Wednesday, the latest in a series of daily assaults which fishermen said killed 20 Indian nationals off a Red Sea port on Tuesday. At least 15 other civilians were killed throughout the country on Tuesday, medics said.
The alliance has increased air strikes on Sanaa and other parts of Yemen since Friday, when a Houthi missile attack killed 300 coalition troops at a military camp in central Marib province.
Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for more than five months (168 days) now to restore power to fugitive president Abed-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 5,788 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.
Despite Riyadh’s claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi warplanes are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.