Socotra/Washington: A unit of US Marines, known as the frontline force in the US defence forces has landed on the Socotra Island in Yemen, reports Yemenis media. This island, located at some distance from Yemen, is currently under the control of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is using the island as the command centre for its Yemen military operations. However, with the arrival of the US Marines on the island, there are speculations that the US intends to build a military base on this island.
Since the last four years, there has been a conflict in Yemen, between the Houthi rebels and the Saudi sponsored front. Nevertheless, the conflict has inflicted major losses on Saudi as also its allies UAE and Sudan have indicated withdrawal from the battle. A few months ago, talks were being held reportedly between Saudi and the Houthi rebels to work out a ceasefire. But the talks never came to fruition fuelling a fierce conflict between the two sides.
Although UAE has reduced its involvement in the Yemen conflict, it has not let off the control over Socotra Island. Instead, the UAE has been making moves to acquire the island permanently. The island located in between the critical marine regions of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden is considered very important from the military point of view. It is considered to be very strategically located for monitoring the freight movement between the Gulf and African countries and the other marine movements.
It is also claimed that an agreement was signed between Saudi Arabia, Yemen and UAE regarding Socotra Island. As per this agreement the concerned island will be leased to UAE for 95 years. Against the same background, a unit of US Marines had visited the Socotra island, a few months ago. The United States has given the patriot air defence system to Saudi and UAE for the Yemen conflict, and this missile system will be deployed on this island.
It is also claimed that the new US Marines unit has reached the Socotra Island for setting up the Patriot missile system. At the same time, talks that the United States wants to use the Socotra Island as a military base are also surfacing. The United States has its bases in Somalia and Djibouti in Africa as well as in the Gulf countries. Russian and Chinese activities in this region are on the rise. A Yemenis daily claimed that therefore, the United States has been making moves to build a military base on Socotra Island with the help of Saudi and UAE.