Israel in Yemen: Reports of A Secret Intelligence Base in Socotra Prompt Yemeni Questions Over Sovereignty

Published September 2nd, 2020 - 06:06 GMT
Israel in Yemen: Reports of A Secret Intelligence Base in Socotra Prompt Yemeni Questions Over Sovereignty
Yemeni social media users condemned the content of the report and perceived it as yet another Emirati attempt to overstep their sovereignty in Socotra. (Shutterstock: Harvepino / Edits: Al Bawaba)

Ever since the normalization of relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel was announced several weeks ago, media reports have been trying to speculate the changes the Middle East is about to see for the first time in decades.

The finally announced "peace deal" between the two countries gets even more attention as the UAE is directly and militarily involved in several conflicts in the region, particularly the 5-year long Saudi-Emirati military intervention in Yemen, which means that Israel gets closer access to more than just the UAE.

A recent report by the Israeli TV channel i24 revealed that Israel has already begun cooperating with the UAE to establish intelligence bases in the Yemeni strategic island of Socotra, which is deemed as a particularly significant area between the Guardafui Channel and the Arabian Sea.

Translation: "A joint Emirati-Israel military base in Socotra, an Emirati airport in Al Mukalla, Hadramout and a Saudi air base near Al Ghaydah Airport in Al Mahrah. This is the basis of the triangle of evil and conspiracies against Yemen and Muslims. It will only take a few days until we hear about foreign experts arriving at Al Mahrah just like the UAE arrived at Socotra in the past."

The report broadcast two days ago explained that Israel's interest in Socotra is strongly connected to being granted access to monitor and oversee Iranian "and other" moves in the region.

However, Yemeni social media users condemned the content of the report and perceived it as yet another Emirati attempt to overstep their sovereignty in Socotra, which has been under Emirati control for years.

Some commentators also blamed Saudi Arabia for "facilitating the Emirati control over Socotra" during their 5-year military presence in Yemen.

Translation: "Israel and the UAE have decided to establish intelligence bases in the Yemeni island of Socotra. The question here is: Where is Yemeni sovereignty? Is Socotra still Yemeni or has it become Emirati and Israeli? How much longer is this Yemeni and Arab silence going to continue ignoring Bin Zayed's abuse?"

The Socotra Island that is considered a subdivision of Aden Governorate stretches over 3,796 km² and more than 60k Yemeni people call it home. In 2008, Socotra was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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