Riyadh: The Saudi soldiers and military vehicles have landed on the Socotra islands in Yemen. A large Unit of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) military had landed there last week. The Saudi military has informed that the Saudi and UAE military have come to the island for a joint military exercise with the Yemenis military. Iran has severely criticised the deployment of the Saudi and UAE military on this island in the Gulf of Aden, which is strategically important from the point of view of the commercial marine transport.
Saudi military spokesman, ‘Turki Al Maliki’ informed about the deployment of the Saudi military on the Socotra island in Yemen. The Saudi military spokesman clarified that the deployment was for training of the Yemenis military and counter terrorism war exercises. The Saudi military will be training the Yemenis soldiers for action against the Houthi rebels. Spokesman, Maliki informed that the UAE military will also participate in these exercises.
The UAE military reached the island last week. The Houthi rebels and Iran had raised strong objections about the UAE military’s presence on the Socotra Island. Iran had accused the UAE of having intruded upon the Socotra island without permission of the Houthi rebels’ government, who currently has control over the Yemenis capital and its palace. Iran had blamed UAE of preparing to take control over this island.
Subsequently, there were also protests at some locations on the Socotra Island against the UAE’s military deployment. However, President Hadi, who has taken refuge in Saudi, had endorsed this UAE deployment. The Socotra Island, which is 350 km away from the southern Yemenis shoreline, has been declared as a heritage site by the United Nations. The leading news channels in the Gulf have claimed that this military deployment by the UAE and Saudi is a warning to Iran. It could prove to be an alarm for the Iranian oil tankers passing close to this island through the Gulf of Aden.
The Saudi, UAE and Sudan militaries have also initiated a major war exercise, similar to the one in Socotra, at the Hodeidah port near the Red Sea in Western Saudi.