SANA’A (Dispatches) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is reportedly constructing its second military airport, with the help of a team of foreign military experts, on the strategic island of Socotra.
Yemeni military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Yemen News Portal website that the experts have started geological mapping in the coastal town of Hadibu.
The sources said the UAE’s construction of a new military airport on the Socotra island is in line with the Persian Gulf state’s efforts to expand the activities of Emirati spy agencies and institutions in the area.
Back in mid-September last year, Yemen News Agency, citing local sources, reported that the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates had signed a contract with the Zionist regime in order to create an espionage center for the Zionist air force at Socotra Airport.
Home to some 60,000 people, Socotra overlooks the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, a main shipping route that connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. It has a unique ecosystem.
The French-language news outlet JForum said in August 2020 that the Zionist regime, in cooperation with the UAE, was planning to build intelligence-gathering bases on the Socotra island.
The purpose of the bases, according to the report, is to electronically monitor Saudi-led forces waging a war on Yemen.
The occupying regime of Israel and the UAE are currently making all logistical preparations to establish bases to collect information from across the Gulf of Aden, including Bab el-Mandeb and south of Yemen, which is under the control of forces backed by the UAE, the report said.
Socotra has been a source of tension between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which have been vying for control of the resource-rich island.
Leading several of its allies, Saudi Arabia launched a war against the Arab world’s already poorest nation, Yemen, in March 2015. The war has been seeking to restore power in Yemen to the country’s former Riyadh-allied officials.
Last month, a United Nations Development Programme report said the war would have claimed 377,000 lives by the end of 2021 through both direct and indirect impacts.
In the latest attack, the Saudi military killed four Yemenis and injured as many others in a cross-border attack, targeting Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada.
The fatalities were caused on Saturday after the Saudi forces targeted Sa’ada’s al-Raqu area with artillery fire, local sources reported.
The victims have all been described as unarmed civilians.
Elsewhere across the province, Saudi Arabia carried out as many as 11 airstrikes against the al-Dhaher and Kitaf wa al-Boqe’e Districts.
According to Sa’adah’s criminal investigation bureau, Saudi-led attacks have claimed a total of 283 people and injured 1,200 others in Sa’ada’s border areas over the past year.