The United Arab Emirates is involved in the non-international armed conflict against the Islamic State group by undertaking airstrikes in Syria as part of the international coalition led by the United States. It is also involved in the international armed conflict in Syria. The United Arab Emirates are also involved in the non-international armed conflicts in Yemen.
The United Arab Emirates is currently a party to a series of armed conflicts. For further information on who is considered a party to an armed conflict, see ‘contemporary challenges – multinational forces: who is a party to the conflict?’ in our classification section.
- The United Arab Emirates is a party to the non-international armed conflict in Syria against the Islamic State group. The United Arab Emirates joined the first US-led airstrikes in September 2014 and reportedly undertook a series of airstrikes in the first days of the campaign. 'Syria: US Begins Airstrikes Against Islamic State', BBC, 23 September 2014. However, since then, their participation in airstrikes has been minimal. C.Mills, ISIS/Daesh: The Military Response in Iraq and Syria, Commons Briefing Papers SN06995, 9 November 2016, p 26.
- Due to its participation in the airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria without the consent of the Syrian government, the United Arab Emirates is also a party to the international armed conflict in Syria. On the relevance of consent for conflict classification, see 'contemporary challenges - relevance of consent' in our classification section.
- The United Arab Emirates are a party to the non-international armed conflicts in Yemen. The United Arab Emirates are a member of the Saudi-led coalition that initiated airstrikes in March 2015 . In August 2015, the United Arab Emirates deployed ground troops in support of the Yemeni government and its allies against both Houthi rebels and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. 'Yemen Air Strikes: A Guide to the Countries Backing Saudi Arabia’, Associated Press, 10 April 2015; ‘Number of Saudi-led coalition troops in Yemen “rises to 10,000”’, Reuters, 8 September; S. Al-Batati and K. Fahim, ‘Foreign Ground Troops Join Yemen Fight’, The New York Times, 3 August 2015; W. Maclean, N. Browning and Y. Bayoumy, 'Yemen Counter-Terrorism Mission Shows UAW Military Ambition', Reuters, 28 June 2016. According the Panel of Experts on Yemen, they are leading the coalition together with Saudi Arabia, see Final Report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2140 (2014), UN doc S/2017/81, footnote 18. There are frictions between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates because the latter backs the Southern Movement, a separatist group that broke its alliance with President Hadi in January 2018. 'Yemen's Complicated War Just Got More Complicated', Al Jazeera, 29 January 2018.