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, Anadolu Agency reported based on 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.
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.
For the sixth year running, Yemen is still witnessing a violent war that led to one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, where 80 per cent of the population is in need of aid. The armed conflict in the country has pushed millions to the brink of starvation.
The UN indicated that during the ongoing conflict, 70,000 people were killed and wounded, while previous human rights reports have estimated that the war has led to the deaths of a minimum of 100,000 Yemenis.
The complexity of the conflict is further heightened by the fact that regional parties have undertaken a role in it, and since March 2015, an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia has carried out military operations in Yemen in support of government forces, in the face of Iranian-backed Houthis, who control several provinces including the capital, Sanaa.