Abu Dhabi is one of the half-dozen mostly Gulf State countries to have intervened in the Yemeni civil war, taking part in the Saudi-led effort to try to restore the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to power after the 2014 Houthi-led popular uprising in Saana. The United Arab Emirates has also provided support for secessionists in Yemen’s south.
The UAE appears to be substantially cutting back its presence at its Assab, Eritrea-based military base, razing base facilities and evacuating equipment, Africa Intelligence and the Associated Press report, with the latter studying recent satellite data.
The nine square kilometre facility consists of a port and a 3,500 meter-long runway for heavy military aircraft, as well as barracks, a field hospital, a prison, and aircraft canopies. The base has reportedly been used to ship heavy weapons and Sudanese troops into the warzone to try to help push back the Houthi militia which overran much of the country after Hadi’s 2014 ouster and the Saudi-led coalition’s March 2015 intervention.
During the war, the facility was seen hosting a variety of heavy weapons, ranging from Leclerc main battle tanks and BMP-3 amphibious fighting vehicles to G6 self-propelled howitzers, attack helicopters and Chinese-made attack drones.
The base is also thought to have been the main port used by the UAE to supply forces in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden. Along with its support for the Hadi-led government in the north, the UAE provided…