YEMEN Press Agency

UAE pushes military reinforcements to Bab al-Mandab Strait

LAHJ, Feb. 22 (YPA) – The UAE-backed armed factions sent on Wednesday large military reinforcements to Ras al-Ara area, near Bab al-Mandab Strait.

Local sources familiar with the matter said that units of the UAE-funded Southern Transitional Council (STC)’s militia arrived in the Ras al-Ara area of Lahj, which is controlled by the Saudi-formed National Shield Forces” militia, coming from Aden and Lahj, southern Yemen.

This came days after Saudi Arabia sent large armed groups from the so-called “National Shield Forces” to the coastal strip that extends between the provinces of Taiz, Lahj and Aden.

Observers of Yemeni affairs considered the Saudi reinforcements a clear message of the STC’s rejection of the military deployment carried out by the new Saudi factions in the strategic region.

They pointed out that the insistence of the two parties to send more military reinforcements to the Ras al-Ara area would portend imminent direct confrontations between the Emirati and Saudi factions in the area, especially with Riyadh’s insistence on reducing the influence of armed groups loyal to the UAE in the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the sea lanes of the western coast of Yemen, starting from the city of Mocha to the city of Aden.

On November 6, the Ras al-Ara area witnessed the creation of a small port by al-Sabiha tribes, which was rejected by the coalition forces, sparking great tension between the “Tariq Saleh” militia, backed by the UAE, and al-Sabiha tribes.