A new batch of mercenaries from the United States have entered Yemen, according to Russia Insider.
The hired guns are from the company DynCorp, a U.S.-based private military contractor. The United Arab Emirates paid DynCorp to send these men to fight against the Houthi rebels in the country. DynCorp will reportedly receive US$3 billion for their service.
Yemen has been in a state of civil war since March 2015, after Houthi rebels, largely from Yemen’s sizable Shia population, deposed former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who had been president since a 2012 election in which he was the only candidate.
The Houthi rebels are fighting forces loyal to Hadi who are backed by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition of regional Sunni powers and the UAE, with support from the U.S.
The mercenaries’ arrival comes after about seven hired guns from Academi, the new name of the infamous U.S. Blackwater company, were killed by Houthi rebels, and another 39 were wounded.
The losses have reportedly caused the group to pull out of the al-Amri front in the southwestern Yemeni province of Taiz, according to Arab site Bemanioun News.
Saudi-led coalition airstrikes seem to be taking up the slack, with an attack in the al-Khamees market in the north of Sanaa killing at least 65.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon issued a statement today deploring the strike, asking all parties to “cease all military activities.”
As of January, the death toll in the conflict had reached 8,100, according to the U.N.
U.S. mercenaries have a long and sordid history in the Middle East. The first major look into the practice of contracting private forces in the region came in 2007, when journalist and author Jeremy Scahill published his book “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” Scahill traveled throughout war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan, where the U.S. army had reportedly “overextended itself,” collecting evidence of abuses committed by the group.
This content was originally published by teleSUR.