SANA’A – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) have reportedly summoned their top mercenary Tariq Afash in order to explain his failures, after a series of humiliating defeats at the hands of the Yemeni Armed Forces.
Tariq Afash is the nephew of former despot Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled with an iron fist over North Yemen from 1978 to 1990, and subsequently the united Republic of Yemen until 2011. After having returned to Yemen following the September 21 Revolution of 2014, Saleh betrayed the Revolution and attempted to seize power once more in December 2017, but was swiftly defeated and killed in battle in Sana’a.
Tariq Afash, formerly the head of the Special Security Forces of Yemen, fled the capital after his uncle’s defeat and officially defected to the UAE. Offering his services to the invading armies, he drew up a plan that he claimed would defeat the National Salvation Government of Yemen “within ten days”.
However, despite being equipped with state of the art weaponry and covered by aerial support, Afash suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Yemeni Armed Forces and Popular Committees near Khaled camp. Sources mentioned by the Yemen Press Agency claim that the mercenaries lost at least 106 troops.
Moreover, reports say that Tariq Afash had the soldiers who survived the bloodbath and retreated, arrested and forcefully returned to the losing battle.
Rather than ensuring a swift victory for the UAE invaders, Tariq Afash has caused a mass escalation of violence in Taiz, due to the mass influx of his own personal mercenary army into the province and city. By upsetting the delicate balance of power between South Yemeni separatists, UAE mercenaries and Al-Islah party militants, Afash seems to have further pushed the city into conflict. This too has costed the Saudi-Emirati coalition a large amount of casualties over the course of the past few days.
All in all, it seems that Tariq Afash will have quite a lot of explaining to do.