Southern Forces Protecting Bab al-Mandab From Mocha to Aden: Source


Thu, 27-05-2021 08:54 PM, Aden

Aden (South24)

An official in the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen on Thursday dismissed as "baseless" reports that Emirati forces were present on South Yemen's islands, Mayun and Socotra.

"All equipment currently present on Mayun Island is under control of the Coalition Command, and is situated there to... counter the Houthi militia, secure maritime navigation and support West Coast forces," said the official, according to a statement on Saudi state news agency.

Current UAE efforts were focused on providing air support for Coalition operations in the city of Marib, the official added.

The statement was issued in response to an Associated Press report citing Yemeni officials saying the United Arab Emirates was behind an air base that has emerged on Perim Island, also known as Mayun, in the vital Bab al-Mandab strait.

An informed source told "South24" that the forces that are present on the Mayun island are southern forces alongside Saudi forces.

"Southern forces are deployed along the coastline of Bab al-Mandab, from Mocha in North to Aden in South," added the source. 

Director of Mualla District, Ali Al-Salahi, with the commander of the Security Belt Forces, Mohsen Al-Wali, during a visit to Mayun Island, February 2021 (STC)

Southern forces have effectively contribute to protecting these areas from the threats of the Houthis, extremist groups, smuggling operations and human trafficking, according to officials.

The AP said it obtained satellite images showing a 1.85 km runway on Perim along with three hangars.

UAE authorities have not commented on the AP report. The Gulf state withdrew most of its forces from Yemen in 2019.

The UAE has good relations with the people in South Yemen, in particular, the Southern Transitional Council (STC).

The UAE has contributed, in large measure, to training tens of thousands of security forces in South. These forces actively participated in the war on "terrorism" and expelled AQAP fighters from large areas in South Yemen.

Perim, a lump of volcanic rock providing a foothold astride major trade routes, was run by the coalition in 2015 after it intervened in Yemen against the Houthis, who ousted the internationally recognised government from the capital Sanaa.

Administratively, Mayun is apart of Mualla District of Aden Governorate.

In February, officials from the local authority and the Security Belt forces of Aden, visited the strategic island on the Red Sea.

- Sources: South24, SPA, Reuters
- Photo: Officials from the local authority and the Security Belt forces of Aden, visited the strategic island on the Red Sea. February 2021 (STC)

MayunPiremBab elmandebSouthern ForcesSouth YemenSTCUAESaudi ForcesRed See