ISRAEL AND THE UAE HOPE TO TURN YEMEN'S REMOTE ISLANDS INTO AN INTEL GATHERING HUB | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

ISRAEL AND THE UAE HOPE TO TURN YEMEN'S REMOTE ISLANDS INTO AN INTEL GATHERING HUB

In the wake of the recent normalization of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in August, it is becoming increasingly clear that Tel Aviv is set to take on an increasingly active role in the war on Yemen, a war that the UAE – together with Saudi Arabia – launched over six years ago.

Yemen’s strategic islands, particularly the sparsely populated archipelago containing Socotra located at the mouth of Gulf Aden in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, is of particular importance. Often a flashpoint for tensions between Iran and the United States, Yemen and the Saudi Coalition, and a major chokepoint for much of the world’s maritime transit, the waters surrounding Yemen, particularly the island of Socotra, have become a much-vaunted prize for regional intelligence and security apparatus. Now, both the UAE and Israel are working to establish military and intelligence centers on Socotra, which lays some 240 kilometers east of the coast of Somalia and 380 kilometers south of the Arabian Peninsula.

According to one Yemeni source, the United Arab Emirates and Israel have already completed logistical operations to establish intelligence-gathering bases and new military facilities on the island. A presence on Socotra will not only allow the new alliance to establish a foothold against Yemen’s Houthi-led opposition, but will allow it to conduct surveillance on Oman, Iran, Pakistan, and China, who, in recent years, has established a presence on the nearby horn of Africa.

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