JForum, the official website of the French-speaking Jewish community in Paris, previously revealed that the UAE and Israel were working to build a spy base on Socotra.
“This Israel-UAE spy base aims to monitor Iranian activities in the Gulf of Aden and limit Tehran’s relations with the Houthi rebels,” said Ibrahim Fraihat, a professor of international conflict resolution at the Doha Institute of Postgraduate Studies, as reported by Anadolu Agency.
Socotra overlooks the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait, the main shipping route connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. The UAE has deployed hundreds of troops on the strategic island since May 2018, causing a rift with the Yemeni government, which rejects the deployment.
“The establishment of this base is an additional indicator that the UAE-Israel agreement is intended to forge a solid alliance between the two countries, not only to normalize relations,” Fraihat said.
Fraihat believes that the Israel-UAE spy base will also help keep China‘s economic activities under scrutiny. “This base can provide important security services to the US regarding China‘s economic activity, especially its trade with Europe,” he said, citing US President Donald Trump’s tense relationship with Beijing.