NewsSatellite images expose UAE's new military site in Yemeni waters amid maritime conflict

Satellite images expose UAE's new military site in Yemeni waters amid maritime conflict

The Associated Press reached satellite photos of a mysterious construction on Abd al-Kuri.
The Associated Press reached satellite photos of a mysterious construction on Abd al-Kuri.
Images source: © East News | Planet Labs PBC
8:53 PM EDT, March 27, 2024, updated: 6:34 AM EDT, March 28, 2024

As Houthi rebels in Yemen continue their assaults on ships in the Red Sea, The Associated Press has unveiled satellite imagery that shows enigmatic construction activities on Abd al-Kuri. This development appears to be a new landing site on the Yemeni island, strategically located near a crucial maritime path. No nation has officially claimed responsibility for this construction, yet the images reveal the phrase "I LOVE UAE" etched into the sand.

According to reports from AP, there's ongoing work on what seems to be a landing site in the Socotra archipelago on the island of Abd al-Kuri. The American news agency has reached out to the United Arab Emirates, highlighted by the sand inscription "I LOVE UAE" in the satellite image, connecting it to the UAE.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) asserted on Thursday that "its activities on Socotra island are purely humanitarian, undertaken in collaboration with the Yemeni government and local authorities."

A runway capable of hosting bombers

Planet Labs PBC's satellite imagery, analyzed by AP, reveals the construction of a runway. Images from March 11 show trucks and other machinery working on leveling the land, with later images confirming ongoing work, likely including the runway's paving. The runway covers approximately 1.9 miles and is suitable for hosting attack, reconnaissance, and transport planes, as well as some bombers.

Conflict at sea spurred by Yemeni rebels

The Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea have turned into a combat zone, with the Houthi rebels clashing with forces led by the United States. Backed by Iran, the Yemeni Houthi rebels have targeted vessels in the area since November 2023, purporting to support Hamas in its struggle against Israel in the Gaza Strip. These attacks, often hitting ships unconnected to Iran, threaten maritime safety. In retaliation, American and British forces have launched air strikes against Houthi positions in Yemen starting January 12.

Source: AP, WP News

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