Report: UAE Letting Israel Send Spies Into Yemen

Tribal leader in Socotra claims island opened up to Israel

Reports originating in the Turkish state media are claiming that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia are allowing Israel’s intelligence agencies growing access into Yemen, with the UAE in particular giving Israeli agents access to the strategic island of Socotra.

There is still not a lot of evidence of how far-reaching this is. One Socotra tribal elder was quoting in the media saying this is the case. Socotra’s tribes have been trying to build up opposition to the UAE’s assertion of control over the island during the ongoing Yemen War.

Socotra has regional strategic value, which is why the UAE wants a presence there, and presumably why Israel would also want a presence there. Couple this with the Israel-UAE peace, and the allegation practically writes itself.

It isn’t clear what this really is, however, whether this marks a major Israel influx into Yemen or part of a shift by the UAE. Turkey is at odds with the UAE in some countries, and this would be a good opportunity for them to push a story where the UAE is abusing its new Israel ties, but for now it’s not clear how far this really goes.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of