The General Command of the UAE Armed Forces said the personnel died while performing their national duty as part of the Saudi-led Arab coalition in support of what it called “the legitimate Yemeni government”, The Nation reported on Saturday.
In its deadliest battle incident ever, the United Arab Emirates forces lost at least 45 soldiers fighting among the Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen, after Houthis fired a rocket into weapons warehouse at a military camp.
The deadly incident took place in the oil-producing Marib area of central Yemen, after the Houthi missile struck an ammunitions depot. At least 22 Emirati soldiers were killed on the spot while 23 others died from their wounds hours later, the UAE state news agency WAM reported.
Hours after the attack, the UAE Air Force fighter jets launched strikes on Houthi targets.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, took to Twitter to pay further tribute to the country’s killed soldiers.
“The UAE today has lost a group of its purest men, in defense of justice and in support of our brothers in Yemen. Our condolences [go] to the people of the UAE and the Arab nation in those brave heroes.”
Sheikh Mohammed said the sacrifices of the nation’s children were a source of pride and that “the days will only give us more determination and power on triumphing”.
Saudi Arabia, leading a coalition of nine Arab states, began carrying out airstrikes in the neighboring Yemen on 26 March 2015, in a bid to restore power to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
The Saudi-led intervention has come under fire from human rights groups for not protecting civilians and causing widespread destruction. UK-based Amnesty International said in a report this month that the campaign had left a “bloody trail of civilian death” which could amount to war crimes.
Over 4,300 people have been killed in five months of war in Yemen while disease and suffering in the already impoverished country have spread; Tasnim reported