Saudi-Emirati Coalition Uses Force, Torture, Arbitrary Detention in Yemen: Brookings
The US Brookings Institution confirmed that the Saudi-Emirati coalition will not give up its projects and plans in Yemen.
The institute published an article by former researcher and consultant Bruce Riedel, in which he stated that it is unlikely that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi would give up their gains without significant international pressures, especially after the former took control of Mahra, which is far from conflict, and the latter seized the strategic Yemeni islands.
Riedel clarified that the Saudis gradually took control of al-Mahrah. They occupied the capital and the port and took control of the border posts with Oman.
Human Rights Watch has reported the Saudis and local allied tribes have used force, torture, and arbitrary detention to squelch any opposition to their occupation. Taking al-Mahrah gives Saudi Arabia direct access to the Indian Ocean. Riyadh plans to build an oil pipeline from its Eastern Province through al-Mahrah to the sea, according to some reports.
Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, is focused on Yemen’s strategic islands. The UAE has downsized its role in the war in the last year. The Emiratis have quietly chosen to get out of the Yemeni quagmire as much as possible and have substantially reduced their presence in Aden. They still have some small pockets of troops in Mokha, Shabwa, and a couple of other locations.
But they are very active in several key islands. Most recently, satellite imagery has shown that the UAE is building a sizable air base on the island of Mayun which is located in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that links the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. Five square miles in size, the island is key to the control of the Bab el-Mandeb or “Gate of Tears.”
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are quietly consolidating their foothold in Yemen by setting up bases in strategic locations in the war-torn country, US research group the Brookings Institute says.
The territorial acquisition comes as the peace process has stalled between the Saudi-led coalition states and the popular Anssarallah movement, which is backed by the Yemeni armed forces defending the impoverished country against Saudi onslaught.
According to Brookings, the Saudis have focused their attention on the eastern province of al-Mahrah, Yemen’s second largest, with 300,000 residents.
Riyadh, which currently has 20 bases and outposts in al-Mahrah, took control of the province in 2017 after occupying its capital and port as well as the border posts with Oman.
Human Rights Watch has reported that Saudi troops and local allied tribes have used force, torture, and arbitrary detention to squelch any opposition to their occupation.
Taking al-Mahrah would give Saudi Arabia direct access to the Indian Ocean as Riyadh reportedly has plans to construct an oil pipeline from its Eastern Province through al-Mahrah to the sea, easing its dependence on the Straits of Hormuz for exporting oil, Brookings said.
The Omanis are closely monitoring the Saudis’ role in al-Mahrah. Al-Mahrah was the base for communist South Yemen to support the Dhofar rebellion in the 1970s, which was defeated.
Oman is the only Persian Gulf monarchy which did not join the Saudi war coalition and has remained neutral in Yemen, often hosting foreign talks with the Yemeni resistance forces in Muscat.
Sultan Qaboos decided in 2016 that the Saudi decision to intervene in Yemen was reckless and misguided.
“His successor is rightly concerned about the future of Yemen, especially the southeastern provinces of al-Mahrah and Hadramawt,” Brookings said.
Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, is focused on Yemen’s strategic islands.
The UAE, which has reduced its military presence in Yemen and quietly chosen to get out of the Yemeni quagmire as much as possible, is very active in several key Yemeni islands.
Source: Press TV