Around 10,000 Sudanese soldiers withdrew from Yemen and returned to their country, Deputy Head of the Sovereign Council of Sudan and the commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo announced.
This was reported by a Sudanese outlet, al-Tayyar, citing anonymous sources.
Without providing any further details, the outlet said that General Dagalo was unwilling to send any more troops to Yemen in aid of the Saudi-led coalition.
The decision to withdraw the forces was reportedly made after a tripartite meeting of the the Council of Sovereignty, the cabinet, and the Forces of Freedom and Change, which have led the protest movement in the country.
In a separate report, the Associated Press reported that Sudanese official confirmed the partial withdrawal but stressed that does not mean that Sudan is quitting the coalition.
“The officials say Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, head of the RSF, agreed with Saudi Arabia that he would not replace returned forces as fighting on the ground has dwindled in recent months,” said the AP
“They said a “few thousand troops” remain for training Yemeni government forces”.
The Sudanese officials further said the RSF participating in the Yemen war reached over 40,000 when the conflict was at its peak in 2016-2017.
In the week ending on October 27th, Saudi forces were deployed in Aden as the UAE withdrew its troops from Yemen.
In late 2018, the New York Times reported that the Saudi-led coalition was using Sudanese child soldiers in its intervention in Yemen.
The Sudanese fighters also insisted that they were the main barrier against the Houthi, safeguarding the Kingdom.
“Without us, the Houthis would take all of Saudi Arabia, including Mecca,” the 28-year-old Mohmed Suleiman al-Fadil said.
“Sudan’s defense minister threatened last May to withdraw from the conflict, pointedly announcing that Khartoum was ‘Reassessing’ participation in light of Sudan’s ‘Stability and interests.’ Diplomats called the statement a veiled demand that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates provide more financial assistance.”
The news of a withdrawal isn’t necessarily true, since in July 2019 there were reports that a large-scale Sudanese withdrawal was taking place, but it was later denied by the military.
Regardless, if true, that spells quite bad news for Saudi Arabia, since the UAE retreated. Even with the Emirates taking part in the conflict, the Houthis have long had the upper hand in the conflict, without them it’s even more precarious.
The Sudanese troops are the core of the Saudi-led coalition’s army, without them, the claims of the Houthi movement taking over all of Saudi Arabia if they so wish seem more possible than ever.
In late September, the Houthis reported that a months-long operation had been successful and resulted in the capture of thousands of Saudi troops.
“Over 2,000 fighters were taken prisoner,” the Houthi spokesperson added, saying most of them were Yemeni but that they also included other prisoners, and they were captured in the region of Najran.
An unnamed Saudi-backed government source said the number of prisoners was “less than” the Houthis claimed, estimating “the number is about 1,300 soldiers,” including 280 wounded.
It should be reminded that the September 14th attack on Aramco’s oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, went through several Patriot defense batteries and other defense systems. The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack and previous similar attacks, but Riyadh and Washington blamed it on Iran.
On September 20th, Houthi officials said they would halt missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia if the alliance stopped its operations in Yemen. Saudi Arabia continues its airstrikes and attacks, despite fighting a clearly losing battle.
MORE ON THE TOPIC: