A secret US rescue in Yemen played a role in Middle East peace deal

WASHINGTON – On August 11, 2017, a United Arab Emirates helicopter was loaded with troops, participating in an offensive attack against al Qaeda militants, killing three soldiers and seriously injuring seven, including the royal A young member of the family was also involved.

As the Iranian leaders scrambled to rescue their troops, they turned to America and asked the US to conduct immediate rescue missions.

According to US military officials, in a few hours, American Special Operations Forces rushed to rescue Amriti Shahi and other soldiers. In ways that might not have been anticipated at the time, the unusual military mission helped pave the way for an Israeli-UAE peace deal three years later that is taking shape again in the Middle East.

Until now, the UAE and the US military have never accepted that American forces rescued the young royal that day.

At the center of the rescue operation was US Major General Miguel Corra, a giant Puerto Rican, who now serves as a special White House adviser and top National Security Council official for US policy in the Gulf.

General Corry, the defense briefcase at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi, coordinates the risky 2017 mission, celebrating the young royal homecoming six months later.

The rescue operation made General Correra some of the Emirati leaders, including the country’s ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was also the uncle and father-in-law of the wounded soldier rescued by the Americans that day.

Koreya’s close ties with leaders of General Ilera became an unexpected asset in the Trump administration’s secret negotiations between Israel and the UAE, leading to historic peace deals – known as the Abraham Accord – last month. It was signed at the White House.

Major General Miguel Correa held the Oval Office last month after Bahrain agreed to normalize relations with Israel. General Correia, a White House special adviser, played a back role in the Abraham Accord.


Tia Duffour / White House

Recent years marked the greatest achievement in efforts by the Trump administration to strengthen ties between Israel and its Gulf neighbors, based on mutual interests in combating Iran that has changed relations in the Middle East.

Officials from various countries acknowledged the notable role played by General Corey. At the White House, before the signing ceremony on 15 September, according to people in attendance, the Imarati foreign minister – who is an uncle to the crown prince’s younger brother and the soldier who was rescued in 2017 – told General Correa and told the president Told Trump: “That general is part of my family.”

“It doesn’t happen without him,” Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said.

There was a sentiment shared by the White House team led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and White House point man on Middle East policy. While Mr. Kushner and his deputy, Avi Berkowitz, were heavily involved in diplomatic negotiations, both said that General Correia played a key role in securing the deal.

Yousef Otayba, the influential Iranian ambassador to the US who played a central role in the talks, said his success was built on the confidence of UAE General Korey and the rest of the White House team.

“The truth is that for the Abraham Accord, there was a very important element of trust, and we were confident with Miguel Correa and the White House,” he said. “This required a huge leap of faith from all sides.”

The 2017 campaign was launched a few days after the 2017 rescue operations by Yemeni forces, backed by the US and the UAE, launched a military operation to remove al Qaeda militants from one of their largest strongholds.

Over the years, the US carried out airstrikes in Yemen against al Qaeda militants who were considered some of the most dangerous leaders of the extremist group.

General Correa was at his home in Abu Dhabi in 2017 when he received a call that an Imrati helicopter had gone down in Ymir while carrying out a counter-offensive mission.

Officially, Emirati officials said mechanical problems brought the helicopter down. But US officials have said the cause was unclear, having been shot dead by militants in Yemen.

Three Imrati soldiers were killed. Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, 27-year-old nephew and son-in-law of the country’s crown prince, seven others were seriously injured. American officials soon learned that the young Amirites were among the royal rescuers.

Two American Osprey carried out a special operations forces medical team for the helicopter crash site in Yemen. The US medical team quoted US Navy spokesman Captain Bill Urban as saying that the US Navy in the Gulf of Aden fired seven wounded soldiers at the USS Bataan in the amphibious assault. A soldier died on the way to the ship as a surgeon aboard the Opray, reviving a second imarati, whose heart was said by Captain Urban.

Left-hand Major General Miguel Correa met in July in Abu Dhabi with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of the UAE, and Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan in wheelchairs, the prince’s nephew and son-in-law. General Coria coordinated. 2017 rescue mission that saved the young man’s life.


Miguel Correa

Medical teams worked fiercely on Batan for 48 hours, Captain Urban said, adding that the US Army boarded the ship to give blood to the wealthy soldiers. Capt Urban said the medical team used 54 out of 66 units of blood, making it the largest “walking blood bank”.

Meanwhile, UAE leaders asked the Americans to fly six soldiers, including Emirati Shahi, to Landstuhl, Germany, where the US Army has a medical hospital that specializes in treating war injuries.

The head of the General Command, General Joseph Motley, called then Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who quickly approved the plan as General.

The US landed the Iranian troops back from the ship at an airport in Yemen, where an Air Force C-17 cargo plane equipped with a special medical unit was waiting for them to fly to Germany,

Flying a large-scale aircraft in Yemen was a risk. The US landed the aircraft at night and flew before the sun rose to ensure everyone’s safety.

Last year, General Correa’s career was hampered by complaints that, as a defense attaché in Abu Dhabi, he, according to his current civilian officers and current U.S. officials, had a relationship with Imrati leaders, without informing his civilian boss Cultivated.

Officials said he was removed from the post in April 2019 by a top US diplomat in Abu Dhabi. A formal Pentagon inspector general investigation concluded that General Correia did nothing wrong, officials said, and secured a new job as senior director of Gulf affairs at the White House National Security Council in general. The State Department declined to comment. Earlier this year, General Correa was promoted to two-star general.

In the White House, General Kore’s revered position in Abu Dhabi quickly became an asset.

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In mid-June, Mr Otaiba wrote an op-ed in a major Israeli newspaper warning the country that his plan to vacate the West Bank’s land, which is expected to be part of a Palestinian state, Israel hopes to have ties with the United Arab Emirates and the UAE. Other Arab Nations.

The op-ed held several weeks of secret talks between Mr. Otaiba, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and the White House team. According to US, Emirati and Israeli officials involved in the talks, the two ambassadors never spoke directly. Instead, he negotiated through the White House.

In late July, General Correa, who was dubbed “Arab Whisperer” by his colleagues, moved to Abu Dhabi for a one-on-one meeting with Prince Mohammed. He spoke through the details of the deal and General Correia assured the Emirati leader that according to US officials, the conditions would be sure to be honored.

Before the meeting began, Prince Mohammed had invited his son-in-law, who was rescued in Yemen on that day in 2017 – to see General Corey. The young UAE royal entered from his wheelchair smiling.

“America doesn’t need a thank you,” General Corira said recently. “I wanted to show Emirates that this was not a transaction.”

Mr trump In an tweet dated August 13, the MIDIST deal was revealed.

The White House team worked to come up with a name for the agreements, which also included Bahrain a few weeks later. General Koreya was reminded that the United Arab Emirates is known as the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi because Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are all religious branches of Prophet Abraham. General Koreya suggested that the agreement be called the Abraham Agreement.

“I love it,” Mr. Trump told General Correia and the team in the Oval Office. On 13 September, officials from the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Bahrain and the US signed the Abraham Accord at the White House.

Write Dion Nissenbaum at [email protected]

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