An Emirati military general and a number of Emirati officers have dropped confessions to a British newspaper that the UAE is associated with al-Qaeda, and has recruited members of the organisation into its forces in Yemen.
Newspaper The Independent said it “continued to investigate the suspicious relationship between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and al-Qaeda”, after an earlier Associated Press investigation, which revealed secret deals being made by the alliance with the takfiri group.
“The coalition is facing accusations of deals with al-Qaeda, by allowing its militants to withdraw from the targeted areas, with all the money they can carry, as well as recruiting its fighters into the coalition forces.”
“The UAE army has denied these allegations as untrue and illogical,” the newspaper said, but quoted Emirati leaders as saying that “Yemeni forces allied to the coalition are absorbing numbers of al-Qaeda fighters even after verifying their backgrounds.”
“Many al-Qaeda fighters are young people who have come under the control of al-Qaeda and have been forced or persuaded to take up arms,” The Independent quoted an Emirati military major general as saying.
“When the civilian areas are cleaned from the organisation, many of these fighters are left behind. It makes sense to recruit them,” the Emirati officer told the newspaper.
“Fighting rebellion is a process aimed at winning minds and hearts. Al-Qaeda is very successful in recruiting individuals, but they have not recruited them to become terrorists, but to be fighters. It is necessary to distinguish between the two in such a complex battlefield, ” the officer said in an astonishing attempt to whitewash the use of takfiri terrorists.
“We recruit fighters, not terrorists, … They could easily be separated; the fighters were eager to join us, but the terrorists wanted to kill us. But we are subjecting volunteers to a thorough psychological examination to ensure that they are not extremists.”
The Associated Press earlier published an investigation into the UAE’s methods of fighting al-Qaeda, revealing that “the coalition is making secret deals with al-Qaeda fighters and paying them to leave major cities.”
“The coalition allows others to withdraw with their weapons, equipment and millions of dollars in stolen money, and deals with some of them to join their allied forces in Yemen,” the agency’s widely-circulated investigation revealed.
The Associated Press investigation noted that “all of this is done with the knowledge and facilitation of the Americans, reflecting the contradictory interests of the US war alongside its Arab allies, especially the UAE, against al-Qaeda; and al-Qaeda’s war together with the coalition against the “Houthis”.”