Kuwait has decided to send troops to its neighbor Saudi Arabia to resist attacks by the Yemeni Houthi movement, the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas reported on Tuesday citing an informed source.
“Kuwait decided on the participation of its ground forces, represented by an artillery battalion, in operations to strike at positions of Houthi aggression against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the paper said.
Though a nominal member of a Saudi-led coalition that has bombed the Iran-allied Houthis for nine months, Kuwait has held off sending ground troops to the conflict in which scores of soldiers from neighbors the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have been killed.
The Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen began in 2015 to influence the outcome of the Yemeni Civil War. Saudi Arabia, spearheading a coalition of nine Arab states, began carrying out airstrikes in neighboring Yemen and imposing an aerial and naval blockade on 26 March, heralding a military intervention codenamed Operation Decisive Storm.
The intervention began in response to requests for assistance from the internationally recognized but domestically contested Yemeni government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The request was due to a Houthi tribal offensive aimed at its provisional capital of Aden. President Hadi fled Aden, left the country and went to Saudi Arabia as the coalition launched airstrikes against the Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was deposed in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.
Fighter jets from Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain also took part in the operation. Somalia made its airspace, territorial waters and military bases available to the coalition.
The United States provided intelligence and logistical support, including search-and-rescue for downed coalition pilots. It also accelerated the sale of weapons to coalition states. Pakistan was called on by Saudi Arabia to join the coalition, but its parliament voted to maintain neutrality.
On 21 April, the Saudi-led military coalition said they would be launching political and peace efforts, which they called Operation Restoring Hope. However, the coalition did not rule out using force, saying it would respond to threats and prevent Houthi militants from operating within Yemen.
Airstrikes and shelling continued under Restoring Hope, including air attacks destroying the main runway at Sana’a International Airport.
File Photo: Kuwait Army M-84 Main Battle Tank