Associated Press: The UAE is building a new airstrip in Socotra


The Associated Press revealed that the UAE is establishing a new airstrip on Abdul Kuri Island, one of the islands of the Yemeni Socotra Archipelago located in the Indian Ocean.

The American agency linked the construction of the runway to the Yemeni attacks in the Red Sea

According to the agency, images taken by satellites for the Associated Press show that workers wrote the phrase “I love the United Arab Emirates” next to piles of dirt near the runway.

They added, “This construction comes at a time when the presence of forces from the UAE in the Socotra island chain (Abdul Kuri Island is part of it), and the separatist forces supported by the UAE in southern Yemen, have sparked clashes in the past.”

Satellite images from Planet Labs analyzed by The Associated Press showed trucks and other vehicles leveling the runway on March 11, turning part of the sandy features dark brown.

Planet Labs photos of the site taken by The Associated Press on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday also showed vehicles at various locations and activities taking place there, including paving the site.

The length of the runway extending from north to south is about 3 km. A runway of this length can accommodate attack, surveillance and transport aircraft, and even some of the heaviest bombers.

Construction could initially be seen in the area in January 2022, with a shorter runway being excavated, according to Planet Labs images. The first signs of construction of the longest runway from north to south appeared in July 2022, but work on the site later stopped.