On February 18, Houthi fighters ambushed a large force of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Army in the district of Mawza in the southwestern Taiz province, according to the Yemeni al-Masirah TV.
Twelve Emirati soldiers and several other fighters, loyal to Saudi-backed President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, were reportedly killed in the ambush. The Houthis also reportedly destroyed four armoured personnel carrier (APCs) of the UAE Army and four other vehicles of pro-Hadi forces.
Al-Masirah added that the Houthis had besieged all the Emirati soldiers who had survived the ambush in Mawza district. According to the source, Houthi fighters foiled several attempts of the Saudi-led coalition to break the siege on the UAE force.
The UAE Army is the second biggest force in the Saudi-led coalition after the Saudi Army. It is mainly active in the southern and western parts of Yemen. The UAE had lost over 120 soldiers since the outbreak of the Yemeni war in 2015, according to Yemeni sources.
The biggest loss of the UAE Army in a single attack was on September 2, 2015 when a OTR-21 Tochka missile launched by the Houthis hit a base of the Saudi-led coalition killing 52 soldiers and officers of the UAE Army.