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.
Abu Dhabi built its Assab base in 2015, with the strategic facility situated just 60 km from the Yemeni coast along a narrow stretch of the Red Sea, about 50 km from the border with Djibouti. The land used by the base was leased from Eritrea for thirty years.
The nine square kilometer 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 mercenaries into the warzone to take part in the fighting against Yemeni Army and Ansarullah revolutionaries, also known as Houthis.
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 government led by fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is an ally to Saudi Arabia, in the north, the UAE provided military and political support to the so-called Southern Transitional Council, a secessionist organization headquartered in Aden which has fought both the Houthis and Hadi forces.
Yemen has been since March 25, 2015 under aggression by the Saudi-led coalition in a bid to restore power to fugitive Hadi.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been killed or injured by Saudi-led airstrikes.
The Arab country has been also under harsh blockade b the coalition which includes in addition to the Kingdom, the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco and Sudan.