Israel, UAE to keep an eye on China, Iran and Pakistan from Socotra Island, claims a Turkish daily   

Israel, UAE to keep an eye on China, Iran and Pakistan from Socotra Island, claims a Turkish daily   

Ankara: The US and European media have begun to claim that the first step as part of the deal with Israel, United Arab Emirates (UAE) will establish a joint intelligence base with the country at Yemen’s Socotra Island. Israel or the UAE has not as yet commented on the matter. However, a Turkish government mouthpiece has stated that its political and military analysts believed the Socotra Island base of Israel and UAE was meant for tracking China, Iran and Pakistan’s movements. Iran and Turkey have already launched scathing criticism at the Israel-UAE agreement.  

सोकोट्राTwo weeks ago, US President Donald Trump announced the accomplishment of a historic deal between Israel and UAE. In order to further expand the cooperation, US President’s Special Advisor Jared Kushner, as well as an Israeli delegation, paid a visit to UAE. Local Yemini group chief Issa Salem bin Yakut alleged that a few Israel and UAE officials travelled to the Socotra Islands during the visit. Currently, the UAE controls the base. Yakut accused that by forming the dangerous front and granting Israel permission to Socotra Island, the UAE and Saudi Arabia had shown disrespect towards Yemen’s sovereignty. Even the US and French websites have reported the Israel-UAE visit to Socotra Islands.  

The Socotra Island, located in the Indian Ocean Region, is extremely crucial from a military perspective. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had invaded the island and caused the Yemini Army to retreat. Nevertheless, in 2018, joint forces of the UAE and Saudi gained control over the island. The island is a popular tourist destination. On its west, is located Eritrean city of Djibouti, as also the Gulf of Aden. Also, a crucial stretch of water of the Red Sea while on its east lies the Arabian Sea. The Turkish daily highlighted that activities of vessels that sail out of the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz as well as those in Pakistan’s Gwadar port could be tracked from the island.   

सोकोट्राTo prove its point, the Turkish state-run media outlet referenced political and military analysts. Qatari analyst Ibrahim Fraihat from the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies has said that the Israel-UAE intelligence base on Socotra Island would help in tracking Iranian movements in the Gulf of Aden. Ibrahim goes on to claim that it may cause problems for Iran to assist the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Not just that, Socotra Island can also be used for keeping a watch on the Chinese merchant ships travelling through the marine region destined for Europe. In his interview with Turkish daily, Ibrahim said that the island might provide Trump administration significant leverage in its trade war with China as well. Furthermore, he drew attention to the fact that the China-developed Djibouti base is strategic and located only a short distance away from Socotra Island.   

Indian analyst Haider Abbas believes the Israel-UAE joint base is likely used for keeping a close watch on Pakistani activities. Haider stated that ‘From now on, Socotra Island will not be controlled by UAE or Yemeni government or Houthi rebels but by Israel and the US. Based on the fast-evolving geopolitical developments, the Pakistani and Chinese activities will be tracked through the Israeli radar.’ Haider voiced concerns as he said, ‘In the coming times, if the Gwadar port suffers any damage, Pakistan and China will hold Israel and the Arab nations accountable. As a result, the relations between Pakistan and the Arab nations will possibly strain further’.    

On the other hand, as per Pakistani Professor Sayyed Qandil Abbas, the objective of Israel and UAE’s Socotra base is primarily targeted at Iran. He adds Israel and UAE would keep a close watch on all of Iran’s maritime and air movements henceforth. Moreover, if India joins the Israel-UAE military front, it will deliver a significant jolt to Pakistan, which is the only nuclear-capable Islamic nation. 

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