Minister: Qatari soldier killed in Yemen (updated)
A Qatar special forces soldier was killed in Yemen today, Qatar’s foreign minister has said, marking this country’s first reported casualty in the conflict.
Khalid Al Attiyah made the announcement on Twitter:
(Translation: We congratulate ourselves and our nation for the martyrdom of a son of our homeland in Yemen. May God accept him in the highest heavens and bestow patience and solace on his family.)
QNA identified the man as Muhammad Hamid Sulayman, but gave no details surrounding the circumstances of his death.
According to Al Sharq, Al Sulayman was the top of his infantry class and had made it to advance levels in physical fitness and competency tests. The newspaper continued:
“His colleagues have said that he was always a man of initiative, was studious and brave. He was renowned for being well-mannered, loving of everyone and devoted to his work.”
On Twitter, local residents praised the soldier’s sacrifice and said a funeral would be held tomorrow at 8am at the Abu Hamour Cemetery.
— أحمد العبيدي (@ahmedqtr111) November 11, 2015
(Translation: May God forgive you and have mercy on your soul. We bear witness that you were always well-mannered and nobel since we’ve come to know you and that yours is a profound loss.)
(Translation: Do not lament the death of martyrs. They are happy in their eternal heavenly abode.)
(Translation: May God protect Qatar and its brave (soldiers) in Yemen. May God strengthen them and send them angels to descend upon them and fight on their side. May God accept (Sulayman) in heaven.)
The incident comes two months after Qatar sent approximately 1,000 ground troops to Yemen, backed by more than 200 armored vehicles and 30 Apache combat helicopters.
The move marked an escalation in Qatar’s involvement in the conflict at a time of mounting casualties for members of the Saudi-led coalition.
Those troops are backing forces loyal to exiled Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi fighting Houthi rebels.
In March, Qatar reportedly launched 10 fighter jets alongside warplanes from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan as part of “Operation Decisive Storm.”
An analyst said at the time that it marked the largest military operation by the GCC states to date.
Sulayman’s death comes less than two weeks after the government reported on the injuries suffered by another Qatar soldier in Yemen.
On Oct. 30, QNA said Hamad bin Saad Al-Marri sustained wounds to his feet during an attack on a Houthi-held position.
He was transported back to Doha for medical treatment at Hamad General Hospital, but told the country’s state news agency that he hoped to eventually return to combat.