The UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Yemen has sent military reinforcements to the Socotra archipelago in the Arabian Sea, despite a de-escalation agreement with the internationally-recognised government supported by Saudi Arabia, Anadolu has reported.
An unnamed local official said that the STC reinforcements headed to the headquarters of the Yemen army’s 1st Marine Brigade which had defected from the government and declared its allegiance to the STC in February.
According to the official, the reinforcements could be the first step in a possible attack on the city of Hadibo, the provisional capital of Socotra, especially after the failure of the two previous attacks by the STC.
As recently as last Saturday, Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi appointed Colonel Ali Ahmed as the new Commander of the 1st Marine Brigade in Socotra.
Last month, the STC announced that it would establish self-rule in southern Yemen, a move which was rejected locally, regionally and internationally.
Socotra lies 240 kilometres east of the coast of Somalia but is politically part of Yemen. It was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2008.