• Monday, Feb 06, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

UAE deploys troops, tanks to Yemen's Socotra Island

  • Published at 01:21 pm May 5th, 2018
UAE deploys troops, tanks to Yemen's Socotra Island

A Saudi delegation is on the strategic Yemeni island of Socotra in a bid to defuse tensions which erupted after the United Arab Emirates deployed troops there, Yemeni state media reported.

The UAE is a key partner in a Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting Houthi rebels since 2015 to restore Yemen's internationally recognised government to power.

A Yemeni government source told AFP the UAE deployed forces in Socotra without informing the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which controls the island.

Socotra, which has been spared the violence that has ravaged mainland Yemen, sits at the exit of a bustling shipping lane that leads from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean.

A site of global importance for biodiversity and sometimes referred to as the "Galapagos of the Indian Ocean", it lies around 350km off Yemen's southern coast.

The delegation led by Saudi general Ahmed Abderrahman al-Shiri met on Friday with Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher in the presence of an Emirati official, Saba news agency reported.

It said the delegation was informed by the Yemeni government and Socotra officials "of what has recently happened on the island."

Talks also focused on "tensions that have existed in Socotra since the prime minister and his delegation arrived" on the island on Wednesday, Saba said.

The government source said the UAE forces arrived in Socotra as the premier landed in the island for a visit.

That sparked anger among residents who argued that there were no Houthi rebels on the island to justify such a deployment, the source added.

Although the UAE has been a pillar of the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis, it has recently taken its distance from Hadi, analysts have said.

The UAE has worked closely with the Yemeni army and trained southern troops, but also backs separatists who wrenched control of the south from Hadi in January.

Meanwhile the UAE state minister for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash on Friday highlighted in a tweet on Friday the "historic links" between his country and Socotra.

"We have historic and family links with the residents of Socotra and we will back them during Yemen's ordeal which was sparked by the Houthis," he said.

The Yemen war has claimed nearly 10,000 lives since Riyadh and its allies joined the conflict in March 2015, triggering what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail