Republic of Yemen Armed Forces
The number of military personnel in Yemen is relatively high; in sum, Yemen has the second largest military force on the Arabian Peninsula
after Saudi Arabia
. In 2012, total active troops were estimated as follows: army, 66,700; navy, 7,000; and air force, 5,000. In September 2007, the government announced the reinstatement of compulsory military service
. Yemen's defense budget
, which in 2006 represented approximately 40 percent of the total government budget, is expected to remain high for the near term, as the military draft takes effect and internal security threats continue to escalate.
Yemen used child soldiers
between 2001 and 2004.
Child soldiers were also used by organized forces and tribal militia as of 2011.
The origins of the modern-day Yemeni military can be traced back to the late 19th century when Turks began recruiting tribal levies to create four battalions of gendarmerie and three cavalry regiments. In 1906, the Italians recruited thousands of Yemenis and gave them military training in their colony of Somalia before sending them to Libya to fight the Senussi insurgency of 1911. Aware of the gains made by the Hashemites in the course of the Arab revolt, a combination of these forces - all of which held strong ties to various local tribes - rebelled against the Ottoman rule in Yemen during the First World War. Although nowhere near as famous as the uprising involving Thomas E. Lawrence - "Lawrence of Arabia" - the Yemen revolt led to the withdrawal of the Turkish military. After officially declaring independence from the ottomans in 1918, Yemen was only internationally recognized in 1926. By that time, Imam Yahya kept a cadre of 300 Ottoman officers and soldiers to train his army, which - while remaining an outgrowth of the tribal levies that functioned as little more than a palace guard - was officially organized as follows:
.Special Imamate Guard: nominally a 5,000-strong unit of specially selected combatants named "Ukfa" considered absolutely loyal to the monarch; .The Outback Army: this up to 50,000-strong force consisted of Zaidi tribesmen - infantry and cavalry - that served for one or two years, but brought their own rifles and provisions; .The al-Army: established in 1919, this consisted of several groups of tribal levies. Each tribe included a retainer who reported on the behavior, awards, and misdeeds of members of his tribe; if a member of the tribal levy stole, or left without permission, the retainer and tribal chief compensated the imam for the loss; .The Defensive Army: established in 1936, this was a draft of all able-bodied men - including urban Yemenis - capable of bearing arms and given six months of military training. With all members of the Defensive Army receiving periodic training for 10 years after their draft, this became a form of a reserve army. During the early 1920s, an ammunition factory was constructed in Sana'a by a Yugoslavian(or German) and an Australian. After his army performed dismally in fierce clashes with the British and a war against the rapidly expanding Saudis, the Imam saw the need to modernize and expand the armed forces eventually purchasing from Italy six tanks, 2,000 rifles, four anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) pieces and some communications gear, while Iraq provided additional rifles and communications equipment. Italy also opened a flight school in Sana'a. In 1954 Imam Ahmad also established military cooperation with Egypt, and Cairo donated a total of four cannons, six heavy machine guns, 12 light machine guns and 20 rifles to Sana'a, deploying four Egyptian army officers to serve as instructors. :
When the Republican Government took power in a coup much of the stability and any remaining professionalism in the army was destroyed. The new government had to build a new army to fight the royalist insurgents. First training centers and recruitment offices were established in every province. The Egyptians played a remarkable role in the process of building a modern national army through serving as advisers and giving Yemeni officers the chance to study in Egyptian academies. With help from the Egyptians four full infantry brigades were formed. These consist of the Revolution brigade, the Nasr brigade, the Unity brigade and the Al Araba brigade. One problem in the young Yemeni army was a lack of strong leadership. Egyptian advisers needed to form a unified military command, so the following bodies were established:
- Army management authority
- Logistics authority
- General military armament authority
- War operations room led by Captain Abdul Latif Deifallah.:
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (May 2015)
Beginning in October 2015, the Saudi-led coalition transitioned from direct fighting to providing support and training for Yemeni forces loyal to President Hadi's government. They helped form a new Yemeni National Army (YNA), which they trained at the Al Anad Air Base
in the Lahij Governorate
. These consisted of Hadi loyalist units, popular mobilization militias and Eritrean
recruits. They also include large parts of the former Yemeni military that are based in the southern, eastern and central parts of Yemen. Eight brigades were trained in total. The Gulf coalition-trained YNA order of battle is as follows:
- "Salman Decisiveness"
- 1st Infantry Brigade
- 2nd Infantry Brigade
- 3rd Infantry Brigade
- 4th Infantry Brigade
- 19th Infantry Brigade
- 22nd Infantry Brigade
- 14th Armored Brigade
Parts of the former Yemeni army also joined Hadi including:
- 35th Armoured Brigade
- 115th Armoured brigade
- 312th Armoured brigade
- 123th infantry brigade
- 3rd mountain infantry brigade
- 2nd border guards brigade
- 11th border guards brigade
- 310th Armoured brigade
- 3rd Presidential guard brigade
The Hadi government forces are organized into military districts, as established by the Presidential Decree No. 103 dating back from 2013, dividing each of the country's provinces into military regions. As of 2016, four are in active service under President Hadi, but the other three are areas under Houthi control. They include the following:
In addition to ground forces, the UAE air force
trained pilots to form a new Yemeni Air Force
using Air Tractor AT-802
light craft. By late October these were reported to be in operation and assisting Hadi loyalist army units near Taiz
Yemeni Army troops fought in Taiz against the Houthi forces, seizing control of several districts in the city in late April 2017. A renewed offensive was launched by the Yemeni national army which received plentiful air support from the Yemeni air corps\Saudi-led coalition, secured the whole of the city and installed the Hadi government in overall control of Taizz.
The Yemeni army has been reinforced by thousands of volunteers under Tareq Saleh's
national resistance forces. Elements of the republican guard and the Giants brigade have joined the Yemeni army against the Houthis.
Yemeni soldiers, August 2011
Yemen's military is divided into an army, navy, air force, and the presidential guard.
The army is organized into eight armored brigades, 16 infantry brigades, six mechanized brigades,
two airborne commando brigades, one surface-to-surface missile brigade, three artillery brigades, one central guard force, one Special Forces brigade, and six air defense brigades, which consist of four anti-aircraft artillery battalions and one surface-to-air missile battalion.
"A military takeover could only realistically be launched by one of the five Area Commanders.
Having himself come to power by coup, Saleh has been extremely careful to select Commanders whose loyalty is ensured by tribal bonds. Members of Saleh's Sanhan
tribe control all military districts and most high security posts, with the commanders enjoying blood and/or close ties to Saleh. The Commanders report directly to the President, outside the normal channels of the Ministry of Defense and without constitutional mandate. They are the final authority in nearly every aspect of regional governance. In practice, they behave like tribal sheikhs and super-governors, parceling out new schools, water projects, and money. Despite periodic efforts to integrate military units, the Commanders recruit largely from regional tribes."
As of September 2005, "Brigadier General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar
, Commander of the Northeastern region, is the most powerful of these military elites. The commander of the Eastern Area is BG Mohammed Ali Mohsen
. The Eastern Area includes the governorates of Hadramawt
. Ali Faraj is commander for the Central Area, which includes Al-Jawf
, and Shabwa
, while the Southern Commander, controlling the Aden
, is Abd al-Aziz al-Thabet. Finally, BG Awadh bin Fareed commands the Central Area, including the capital Sana'a. With the exception of Ali Mohsen, all of these commands are subject to periodic change or shuffle."
The air force includes an air defense force.
Yemen recently placed an order for TOR air defence systems
, which will be far more advanced than the current air defense systems in place. The TOR order has been completed. The Yemeni Army has a total strength of 43,500 troops.[better source needed]
In 2001, Yemen's National Defense Council abolished the existing two-year compulsory military service, relying instead on volunteers to fill posts in the military and security forces. In 2007, the Yemeni government announced that it would reinstate the draft to counter unemployment; approximately 70,000 new recruits were expected to join the military.
Chief of Staff
Yemen's defense spending was historically one of the government's three largest expenditures. The defense budget increased from US$540 million in 2001 to an estimated US$2 billion–US$2.1 billion in 2006, to which it was probably $3.5 billion by 2012. According to the U.S. government, the 2006 budget represents about 6 percent of gross domestic product.
In 2009, Yemen's paramilitary force had about 71,000 troops. Approximately 50,000 constituted the Central Security Organization of the Ministry of Interior; they are equipped with a range of infantry weapons and armored personnel carriers.
20,000 were forces of armed tribal levies.
Yemen was building a small coast guard
under the Ministry of Interior, training naval military technicians for posts in Aden and Mukalla
(Number of equipment needs to be verified)
Yemen's navy was created in 1990 when North and South Yemen united. The navy's major bases are located in Aden and Al Hudaydah
; there are also bases in Mukalla
, Perim Island
, and Socotra
that maintain naval support equipment.
Yemen's navy uses +2,000 officers and seamen to support their main bases at Aden and Al Hudaydah. A naval fortress is in construction at Al Hudaydah.
Yemen early on had problems with trying to keep drugs from entering Yemen by sea. In 2006, Yemen purchased ten patrol boats
based on the Australian Bay class
, which were very effective at stopping smugglers from entering Yemen.
In the Hanish Islands conflict
, Yemen prepared its navy for an assault on the Hanish islands
and on Eritrea
. Eritrea accidentally destroyed a Russian ship thinking it was a Yemeni ship. The invasion however never happened since Eritrea made agreements with Yemen which involved Eritrea taking over the islands. Yemen however, later took over Zukur-Hanish archipelago island which created further tensions with the Eritrean government but did not lead to another war.
(Number of equipment needs to be verified)
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- ^ "Yemen Military Strength". globalfirepower.com. Archived from the original on 2015-03-25. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
- ^ "Yemen appoints new army chief". xinhuanet.com. Xinhua. 5 September 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
- ^ al-Arifi, Murad (8 November 2018). "Yemen defense minister appointed after 3-year vacancy". aa.com. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
- ^ Unipath Staff. "An interview with Vice Adm. Abdullah Salim Ali Abdullah Al-Nakhai". unipath-magazine.com. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
- ^ "Prominent Foe of Houthis Appointed Yemen Chief of Staff". 29 February 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
- ^ "Interviews: Commander of Yemeni Coast Guard Forces Ali Ahmed Ras'ee". Yemen Post. 2009-02-09. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2011-12-04. The tasks of coastguard forces are stipulated in the establishment decree, and these tasks are varied. The coastguard forces have security and not military functions, including keeping order in Yemeni ports and launching patrols in Yemeni coasts and regional waters. Other tasks are limiting illegal immigration, protecting national waters against indiscriminate fishing, protecting environment against pollution, fighting piracy, rescue and search activities.
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Last edited on 24 April 2021, at 22:23
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