Defence Ministry pans allegations of army's involvement in Yemen war

MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW

KUALA LUMPUR: The Defence Ministry has dismissed allegations that Malaysian Armed Forces personnel were involved in military operations and the war in Yemen.

In a statement, the ministry’s office said the claims were untrue, slanderous, baseless, and with negative intent to tarnish the good name of the ministry, the Armed Forces and Malaysia.

“The Defence Ministry’s Office views this allegation very seriously.

“As minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein mentioned before, our Armed Forces personnel have never been involved in any Saudi Arabian military campaign against the revolt in Yemen,” the ministry said.

The ministry further explained that the deployment of Armed Forces personnel to Saudi Arabia was firstly to prepare themselves to face any possibility, including moving the remaining Malaysians in Yemen, if the need arises.

“This is because there are Malaysians who are still in Yemen at this point. The mission to move them is a manifestation of the government’s commitment to help Malaysians who are in distress in a country that is at unrest,” it said in the statement.

Secondly, the ministry said the Armed Forces had been invited by Saudi Arabia to take part in a military exercise in the Northern Thunder, which was meant to foster unity among Muslim countries, and not to focus on the military operations in Yemen.

It went on to state that the training was meant to give exposure and experience of a military operation in an environment very much different from Malaysia.