UAE-Israel Spy Base to Cover Iran, Pakistan, and China
Brigadier (Retd.) Dr. Ahsan ur Rahman Khan
While there has been much media focus on the 13th of last month’s US–brokered accord of UAE–Israel normalisation of relations, the news about establishment of UAE–Israel spy base on Yemen’s island Socotra (located in the Arabian Sea about 350 kilometers south of Yemen) has somehow escaped media attention!
(Map courtesy: PAKISTAN DEFENCE) (1)
London (UK)-based press monitoring organisation MIDDLE EAST MONITOR was probably the first to inform on 28 August 2020 that, according to the official sites of the Jewish and French-speaking community JForum, UAE and Israel are planning to establish spy base on “the island of Socotra, in southern Yemen, which is under the control of the Emirates”; and that “a delegation of Israeli and Emirati intelligence officers arrived on the Socotra Island very recently and examined various locations for establishing the planned intelligence bases”. (2)
Later, this highly significant news titled as ‘Israel–UAE Spy Base on Socotra Targets Iran, China, Pakistan’ was published by Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency on 2 September 2020. The report highlighted, “The creation of an Israeli-Emirati intelligence-gathering base in the Yemeni island of Socotra aims at monitoring Iran, China and Pakistan, according to political and strategic experts”. Besides quoting the JForum report, the Anadolu News Agency also mentioned that “The UAE has deployed hundreds of troops on the strategic island since May 2018, leading to a rift with the Yemeni government, which rejects the deployment”. Besides that, the report quoted Ibrahim Fraihat, a professor of international conflict resolution at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, who asserted “This base can provide critical security services to the US regarding the Chinese economic activity, especially its trade with Europe”, —– . This report has also quoted Indian analyst Haidar Abbas, “that the spy base will also be used to monitor Pakistan”; and, “From now onwards, Socotra Island will neither be of Houthi rebels, nor of UAE or Yemen, but its complete suzerainty will belong to Israel meaning the US”, —-. (3)
Similar report titled ‘Israeli Intelligence Gathering Base Involved in Spying against Pakistan’ was also published by The Times of Islamabad (4) on 2 September 2020; and an article on this issue was published by the Turkish paper Daily Sabah (5) dated 5 September 2020.
Obviously establishment of this spy base by UAE with Israel in the UAE–controlled Socotra Island has not come ‘out of the blue’. It is a properly planned US’ design to establish US’ ‘offensive intelligence tentacle’ in Arabian Sea to cover Iran, shipping lanes in Arabian Sea/western Indian Ocean, CPEC’s outlet at Pakistan’s Gawadar Port, Pakistan, and China. For that purpose US has used UAE and Israel in the forefront and India ‘behind the scenes’. In that connection the strong strategic partnerships of US with Israel and India are well–known. As for UAE, the US–UAE relationship is better explained in the official website of UAE’s embassy in Washington DC (US), which asserts “The United Arab Emirates and United States are close friends and strong allies. With shared interests and common values, the UAE and USA work together to promote regional security”, ——-. (6)
Besides that, clear indicators about Indian connection in this matter are also provided by an article titled ‘India and the Israel–UAE rapprochement’, published by The Geopolitics dated 5 September 2020. Author of this article is Ashok Alex Luke, Assistant Professor of Political Science and researcher at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala (India). He has quoted the reaction of India’s External Affairs Ministry about this UAE–Israel Accord as, “In that context, we welcome the full normalisation of ties between UAE and Israel. Both nations are key strategic partners of India”; and then he also informed, “In fact soon after the agreement UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan had called India’s Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar and had briefed him about the new ties”. And about the question “what India gains?”, he explains, (italics added for emphasis) “While GCC is India’s strongest economic and energy partner amounting to $120 billion, Israel is one of India’s largest defense partner, and the United States with which its strategic partnership is growing at a faster rate will undoubtedly help India to play a greater role in the global affairs”. (7)
This offensive–strategic move by the ‘US+Israel+UAE+India quadruple’ against Iran, Pakistan and China, therefore, is a clear harbinger of US’ design to de–stabilise this region; and deserves priority attention of the diplomatic, security, and military policy planners of Iran, Pakistan and China.