Well-informed Yemeni sources reported that Saudi Arabia, which leads the coalition in Yemen, prevented an Emirati plane from entering Socotra before taking off from Abu Dhabi airport.
The sources quoted by “Emirates Leaks” website said in detail that a communication from the Saudi-led coalition prevented a plane belonging to the Emirati “Al Arabiya” company from leaving Abu Dhabi airport on a flight to the Yemeni archipelago of Socotra, which is under the control of forces backed by Abu Dhabi for more than a year.
It reported that a notification from the coalition’s command and control center came before the Emirati plane took off, preventing it from flying without giving reasons.
She pointed out that the plane was carrying Socotra expatriates in the UAE, in addition to tourists of different nationalities. The company has been transporting them from Abu Dhabi, which has recently become the only outlet for tourists wishing to reach the archipelago.
The Emirates and the occupation of Socotra
It is noteworthy that last May, the American “Middle East Monitor” website revealed that the UAE operated flights for Israeli tourists to Socotra, Yemen, without permission from the legitimate government in the country.
Read also: The Emirates Red Crescent awards two Israeli companies a contract to expand the Yemeni Socotra Airport
The website said at the time that the UAE continues to operate direct flights and tours to the Yemeni island of Socotra, despite not having obtained permission from the Yemeni government.
And the website quoted local sources in Saqqari, hundreds of foreign tourists arrived in the archipelago during the past few days using visas granted to them from Abu Dhabi.
Pictures of foreign tourists have recently spread through social media, and many activists have confirmed that most of them are Israeli.
Reports surfaced last month after a photo showing a group of Israeli tourists accompanied by Emirati security officers and their assistants on the island of Socotra.
Southern Transitional Militia
On the other hand, the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council militia, which actually controls the island, prevents Yemeni citizens from entering the mainland under the pretext of preventing the spread of the Corona virus.
The arrival of the Israelis to the island comes months after the signing of normalization agreements between Israel and the UAE in September last year.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has already started offering direct flights to Tel Aviv and the first flight carrying Israeli tourists to Dubai, UAE, took place last November.
Evidence is gathered that the UAE invaded the Yemeni Socotra archipelago and annexed it to its sovereignty by the occupation force to serve its ambitions for the strategically located island.
The disclosure of the movement of groups of foreign tourists to the Socotra archipelago, southeast of Yemen, was the latest evidence of Abu Dhabi’s invasion of the Yemeni island.
Socotra archipelago is occupied by the Emirates
Yemeni officials revealed that the Socotra archipelago has become completely occupied by the UAE, which planned to control it for years.
As Abu Dhabi, by virtue of the occupying power, has become the first controlling authority in Socotra, and even tourist delegations take permission to enter the Yemeni island from Abu Dhabi.
For weeks, the UAE has sent groups of foreign tourists to the Socotra Archipelago, in a flagrant violation of Yemeni sovereignty.
Read also: Al-Mahraya, Yemen: The UAE controls the branch of the Water Corporation in the Qalansiya district in Socotra
Yemeni officials have previously accused the UAE of seeking to “divide Yemen and control its south” in order to control its wealth and extend its influence over its vital ports, especially the strategic port of Aden.
The Emirates Red Crescent awards two Israeli companies a contract to expand Socotra Airport
In an incident that sparked a wave of anger among Yemeni activists on the communication sites, well-informed Yemeni sources revealed that the UAE Red Crescent and the Emirati Khalifa Foundation had awarded the Socotra Airport expansion contract to two Israeli companies affiliated with the Israeli occupation army.
The sources said in mid-September that the Emirates Red Crescent and the Khalifa Foundation, which are operating illegally in Socotra, signed a contract with the “Yossi Ibrahim” company and the “Mifram” company to expand Socotra Airport.
Expansion of Socotra Airport, Yemen
She explained that the goal of the expansion is to establish an Israeli naval and air intelligence center at Socotra Airport.
The sources pointed out that the Emirati-backed Transitional Council preempted the signing of the contract by expelling all the administrative officials at Socotra Airport who are affiliated with the legitimacy, for not revealing the Emirati plan.
And Yemeni government sources had warned months ago that the UAE, in cooperation with Israel, would establish an Israeli military intelligence base on Socotra Island.
Emirati forces have controlled the island of Socotra since its overthrow by the Transitional Council militia in late 2019.
Tribal escalation against the Emirates in Socotra
It is noteworthy that last August, a prominent tribal leader in Yemen launched what he called a popular escalation against the Emirati presence in the Socotra Archipelago Governorate, in the southeast of the country.
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This came in a press conference held by Sheikh Issa Salem bin Yaqout, the leader of the tribes of the Yemeni province of Socotra, at the time in Al-Mahra Governorate (southeast), while Abu Dhabi usually denies its presence in the Socotra archipelago.
Bin Yaqut called for an “uprising against the UAE presence in the vital archipelago located in the Indian Ocean (southeast), and the start of a peaceful escalation against the presence of the UAE forces in Socotra Governorate.”
He explained that “the peaceful sit-in committee in Socotra (a popular entity that rejects foreign presence) will begin to escalate the stage of vigils against the presence of Emirati forces.”
He added that “members of the sit-in committee in Socotra are subjected to persecution and attacks, but this will not deter them from continuing the struggle against the presence of Emirati forces in Yemen.”
And he indicated that the reasons for the escalation are due to the deteriorating situation in the Yemeni governorate, saying: “Socotra is going through its worst phase, and the suffering of the population is increasing due to the control of the UAE and its tools.”
UAE-backed Transitional Council
Since June 2020, the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council has controlled Socotra, after confrontations and fighting with government forces.
The Yemeni government accuses Abu Dhabi of supporting the “transitional” to control the south, with the aim of controlling its wealth and islands and extending its influence over its vital ports, especially the strategic port of Aden.
Abu Dhabi denies these accusations, and repeatedly affirms its keenness on the unity and stability of Yemen, and its withdrawal from the country in October 2020.
It is noteworthy that the UAE is mainly participating in the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which has been facing the Houthis, in support of government forces since March 2015.