Investigation: Saudi Coalition Turned Port of Mocha into Advanced Military Base
Since the beginning of 2015, the coalition’s ambitions to control the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait have clearly emerged, as one of the most important goals of the alliance, which is consistent with the ancient Israeli desire to tighten control over the vital strait, which is one of the most important passages for world trade.
In order to implement these ambitions, the coalition launched military moves to control the most important sites overlooking Bab al-Mandab Strait, such as Mayyun Island, which satellite images revealed that UAE establishing a military base and observation towers for its forces on the island, and transferring troops and military equipment from the Eritrean island of Assab to the Yemeni island.
However, Mayyun Island was not the only one that turned into an advanced military base for the alliance. The port of Al-Mokha is also transformed by the Emirates from a commercial port into a military base, which was revealed by an investigation published by ICAD platform.
According to ICAD, Emirati-Israeli military movements began in the port of Mocha in the year 2020 AD, as reclamation and construction operations were monitored that lasted for months in the vicinity of the port.
Talking about these operations has remained uncertain, according to ICAD. Until the Dutch activist Vichai, who is interested in open intelligence sources, released a tweet in September 2021, which he attached to poor quality photos showing what appeared to be features of an aircraft runway, which represented the beginning of the thread to track the military activity in the Yemeni port.
ICAD, which carried out an investigation on the matter, says that with monitoring the port for many months, the investigation team noticed many buildings that were built and used as stores for ammunition and weapons.
Several developments took place in the port, the latest of which was a long military runway. This was confirmed by the photos presented by the investigation, which date back to the beginning of January 2022 AD. It is the first high-resolution image to be shown in the media, showing how the features of the 2.4 km long military runway were completed.
According to the investigation, the satellite images obtained from the Plant site reveal that the runway is connected to two main roads, one of which reaches the entrance of the port and the other connects to the port’s seaport, where it receives goods and military equipment loaded on board Emirati ships, we notice two heads at the beginning and end of the runway, which were designed to receive helicopters. The pictures reveal a large expansion on the port, which established north of the new runway, most likely to be used in the storage of large shipping containers.
because they were not ordinary constructions, and it is huge military constructions, the work took many months, according to other photos presented by the investigation, and their source is Sentel Hope, in March 2019, UAE began filling the runway, and the length of the paved part reached 1.54 km, it lasted for about six months, although it stopped for a year and a half, it returned in March 2021 at an accelerated pace, until the runway was completed in November 2021.
Huge military buildup
The investigation reveals that in parallel with the construction work, the port witnessed heavy movement of landing ships, and the naval support that carries UAE flag stopped completely, coinciding with the approaching end of the military runway, this means that it was used to transport construction supplies and specialized teams. It was remarkable that among the seventh Emirati ships that visited the port was a ship called Takreem, which UAE used to build the joint military base with Israel on Abd Al-Kuri Island in November 2021.
In conjunction with the military construction, the port received what the investigation described as a huge military build-up, including what appears in video clips published in late 2019, when the port of Mocha received a batch of soldiers coming from UAE military base of Assab in Eritrea, after receiving training there, they are loaded on board the B-Star One ship, along with military equipment, including Max Pro MREP armored vehicles, which was later seen with UAE-backed Southern Transitional Forces. This means that the port will become an Emirati military supply point.
Forbidden to approach the port
UAE prevents the residents of Mocha from approaching the port or its surroundings, a policy it adopted to keep its expansion activities in Yemeni strategic locations secretly. Earlier, the residents of the Yemeni island of Hanish, which is under the control of the Emirates, complained that Abu Dhabi had carried out demographic changes on the island and the displacement of the indigenous population.