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 USbrokered accord of UAEIsrael normalisation of relations, the news about establishment of UAEIsrael spy base on Yemen’s island Socotra (located in the Arabian Sea about 350 kilometers south of Yemen) has somehow escaped media attention!

Socrotra Island.jpg

(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 IsraelUAE Spy Base on Socotra Targets Iran, China, Pakistanwas 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 Pakistanwas 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 UAEcontrolled Socotra Island has not come ‘out of the blue’. It is a properly planned US’ design to establish US’ offensive intelligence tentaclein 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 wellknown. As for UAE, the USUAE 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 IsraelUAE 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 UAEIsrael 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 offensivestrategic move by the US+Israel+UAE+India quadruple against Iran, Pakistan and China, therefore, is a clear harbinger of US’ design to destabilise this region; and deserves priority attention of the diplomatic, security, and military policy planners of Iran, Pakistan and China.

References

(1). https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/israel-uae-spy-base-on-socotra-targets-iran-china-pakistan.683163/

(2).https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200828-uae-and-israel-to-establish-spy-base-in-yemen-island/?mc_cid=8bae77d8be&mc_eid=fbb4726849

(3).https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israel-uae-spy-base-on-socotra-targets-iran-china-pakistan-/1960475

(4).https://timesofislamabad.com/02-Sep-2020/israeli-intelligence-gathering-base-involved-in-spying-against-pakistan

(5).https://www.dailysabah.com/opinion/op-ed/uae-israel-intelligence-base-on-yemeni-islandof-socotra

(6). https://www.uae-embassy.org/uae-us-relations

(7). https://thegeopolitics.com/india-and-the-uae-israel-rapprochement/

Brigadier (Retd.) Dr. Ahsan ur Rahman

Brigadier (Retd.) Dr. Ahsan ur Rahman Khan is a retired officer of Pakistan Army; a graduate of Command & Staff College and a post-graduate of National Defence College; with Command, General Staff, and rich battlefields experience of war; had to retire due to heart ailment; a post-retirement PhD from University of Peshawar, with the thesis relating to Afghanistan; a published free-lance research/analyst; chose to be a post-retirement teacher; lectured in Social Sciences in the universities of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi for about 11 years; and now house-bound due to health reason, retaining his passion for research/analysis.

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