Middle East

Yemeni government forces take control in Socotra Island

Strategic Socotra Island previously seized by UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council

Hacer Baser   | 12.04.2020
Yemeni government forces take control in Socotra Island

SOCOTRA, Yemen 

Yemeni government forces took back control Saturday of a military camp in the strategic Socotra island that was previously seized by UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) separatists, according to local sources.

STC forces escaped before the government operation, said reports.

The STC seized the military camp Feb. 18 after Hussain Shaif, commander of special forces, refused a dismissal decision of the Interior Ministry.

Saif then placed his and STC's forces around the camp.

- UAE backed rebellions in Socotra

The Yemeni government blames UAE-backed separatist movements of rebelling against the government in Socotra province, which is formed by six islands.

Armed groups of STC attempted a failed coup in October 2019 to seize Socotra.

UAE-backed militias raided the airport in Socotra in December and took hostages.

The Socotra Governorate on April 8 blamed the STC of conspiring to kill Governor Ramzi Mahrous.

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led coalition that launched a massive air campaign in 2015 against Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, who overran much of Yemen, including capital of Sanaa, a year earlier.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis are since believed to have been killed and injured in the conflict, while 14 million are at risk of starvation, according to the UN.

*Writing by Firdevs Bulut

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