RAS AL KHAIMAH // The family of Abdullah Juma Al Shamsi, the soldier killed in Yemen on Sunday, spoke of their sadness and pride at his sacrifice.
Al Shamsi, 20, died while taking part in the Saudi-led Arab Coalition’s operation Restoring Hope.
It is believed he was in a convoy of military vehicles hit by a car bomb in the Lahj district.
Another soldier was injured in the explosion, reported state news agency Wam.
“I wish the martyrdom was mine, instead of his,” said Abdullah’s brother, Naser, who was also serving in Yemen.
“We’re sad that we’ve lost him but are mighty proud of his sacrifice.”
They said Abdullah was soon to be married. “We were celebrating his engagement two months ago,” said Naser.
Khalaf Al Shamsi, 50, is the deceased’s older brother.
“We come from a big family,” he said. “We’re 11 boys and 8 girls and he was the one before the last.”
Khalaf, who received news of his brother’s death from a brigadier in the Armed Forces, was overseeing the preparations of setting up a tent to welcome mourners in their home village of Shaam in northern Ras Al Khaimah.
“I saw him three weeks back before he was deployed to Yemen,” he said. “It’s a tough ordeal for us but this feels different. It’s a sadness that is shrouded in happiness. We love him and are proud of him.”
Hasan Al Shamsi, 39, another of Abdullah’s brothers, is also serving with the Armed Forces.
“We all love our country and our proud to serve,” he said.
His brother, he said, would be remembered for his kindness.
“He was always there for anyone that needed him,” said Hasan. “He was someone that you could count on.”
Hasan was touched by the outpouring of love and support his family has received. “Most of the people in our town commute to Abu Dhabi for work but everyone made sure to stop at our house as soon as they got back home from work and offer their condolences before the body has even arrived,” said Hasan.
It is not the first time in recent years that their community has come together to mourn one of their own who has made the ultimate sacrifice to country.
Two years ago, Tariq Al Shehi, a 41-year-old father of four, died after an improvised bomb exploded as security forces dispersed protesters in the village of Daih in Bahrain.
Throughout Sunday, the hashtag #AbdullahAlShamsi was trending on Twitter, with people paying condolences to the serviceman.
Emirati reinforcements have been heading from Aden to Lahj to drive Houthis rebels out of the province.
The Yemeni army, with the help of the southern resistance and coalition forces headed by the Emirates forces, evacuated Lahj from the Houthis in June last year. However, there are still some Houthis in districts with borders with Taiz province.
Al Qaeda took over the centre of Lahj province, Al Hawtah, last month, before withdrawing. However, there are still pockets of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula still in the province.
*Mohammed Al Qalisi reported from Aden.
Source: uae news