Thursday, November 26, 2015

UAE (United Arab Emirates) secretly dispatches Colombian mercenaries to fight in Yemen

The United Arab Emirates has secretly dispatched hundreds of Colombian mercenaries to fight in Yemen, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the Emirates has quietly built a foreign army which was originally managed by a company connected to Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater Worldwide, but is now being run by the Emirati military.

It is now believed that there are around 450 Latin American troops operating in the chaotic Yemeni conflict, including soldiers from Panama, El Salvador and Chile.

“Mercenaries are an attractive option for rich countries who wish to wage war yet whose citizens may not want to fight,” said Sean McFate, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and author of “The Modern Mercenary.”

“The private military industry is global now,”  McFate told the New York Times, adding that the United States essentially “legitimized” the industry with its heavy reliance on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Latin American mercenaries are a sign of what’s to come,” he said.

The UAE has specifically recruited Colombian troops because they consider them to be battle-tested in guerrilla warfare after the years spent battling the fighters of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The exact mission of the Colombians in Yemen is unclear, and one person involved in the project told the paper that it could be weeks before they saw combat. They join hundreds of soldiers from Sudan who were recruited by Saudi Arabia to fight as part of the coalition.

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