An Emirati forces-trained recruit of Yemen’s army waves a UAE flag during combat exercises [File: Najeeb Almahboobi/EPA-EFE]

Saudi Arabia’s military in Yemen moved in to secure two strategic Red Sea ports and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait after ally the United Arab Emirates substantially reduced its forces in the war-ravaged country, a news report said on Thursday.

The UAE pulled out soldiers in some parts of Yemen, where it set up large bases amid a four-year-old war against Houthi rebels who seized control over much of the country in 2014.

The conflict in Yemen is widely seen as a proxy battle between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Two Yemeni military commanders and two Yemeni government officials told Reuters News Agency that Saudi officers

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