Saudi commander, UAE officer killed in Yemen fighting


A top Saudi commander and an Emirati officer were killed Monday during Arab coalition operations against Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Riyadh-led alliance announced in a statement.

Saudi Colonel Abdullah al-Sahyan and Emirati officer Sultan al-Kitbi were killed at dawn on Monday “while they were carrying out their duties in supervising operations to liberate Taez” province in Yemen’s southwest, the official SPA news agency said.

A Yemeni officer told AFP that both officers were killed when rebels fired a rocket at a coastal road in the strategic province, which overlooks the Bab al-Mandab Strait between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling Houthi rebels in Yemen since March, and has provided loyalist forces with troops and equipment as well as carrying out air strikes on insurgent positions.

Sahyan on Saturday met Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who awarded him with a medal of courage, according to Yemen’s official website.

He was identified as commander of the Saudi forces in provisional capital Aden, where Hadi is based.

The United Arab Emirates, playing a key role in the Saudi-led coalition, confirmed the death of its officer without specifying his rank.