The United Arab Emirates said on Monday it was reducing the number of its troops in war-torn Yemen and shifting from a military strategy to a peace plan, AFP reports.

“We do have troop levels that are down for reasons that are strategic in [the Red Sea city of] Hodeida and reasons that are tactical” in other parts of the country, a senior UAE official told reporters.

“It is very much to do with moving from what I would call a ‘military first’ strategy to a ‘peace first’ strategy, and this is I think what we are doing.”

Western diplomatic sources said in late June that the UAE was scaling back its military presence in Yemen as worsening US-Iran tensions “threatened security closer to home,” according to Reuters.

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