The decision came barely a week before the coalition marks its one year engagement to bring President Hadi back to power but Assiri gave assurances that they will continue to “stand by the legitimate Yemeni government and offer support until it is able to restore stability in the country.”
The coalition spokesman said the next step of actions will be rebuilding and reconstructing the country but didn’t state when it will begin. He said “long term” plans will continue and the “small” coalition teams that would remain in Yemen will “equip, train and advise” Yemeni forces. He said the process will take time and “needs patience” but was confident that the departing troops will gradually be replaced by Yemeni forces.
The Houhti Movement which controls the northern part of the country including the capital Sana’a, has not reacted to the statement. The rebels lost control of several territories to the government after the coalition sent in ground troops last year.
Military deployments at the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea are not affected by the decision. Assiri said “the aim of the coalition is to create a strong cohesive government with a strong national army and security forces that can combat terrorism and impose law and order across the country.” The Hadi government is based in the liberated town of Aden but it is struggling to control it as terrorist groups continue to operate in some parts and target senior authorities.