Inside Story

What does UAE want with Yemeni island Socotra?

The United Arab Emirates has deployed its troops and seized key positions on the Indian Ocean island of Socotra.

There is public outrage on the island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean.

A UNESCO world heritage site, Socotra is Yemeni territory, whose residents do not want it to become part of the conflict in Yemen.

But on Thursday, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) deployed troops to the island, seizing strategic positions.

This angered the Yemeni government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which says it wasn’t informed of the move.

The UAE is part of the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in the country and is a former ally of Hadi, but splits have recently emerged.

What is driving Abu Dhabi’s expansion in the region?


Presenter: Hoda Abdel-Hamid


Andreas Krieg – assistant professor at the defence studies department at King’s College London

Catherine Shakdam – Middle East commentator and researcher at Al Bayan Centre for Strategic Studies