Yemen officials say Emiratis boost forces on Socotra island

May 2, 2018 GMT

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemeni security officials say the United Arab Emirates is boosting its troop presence on Yemen’s remote island of Socotra in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia, a move they say is triggering local resentment.

The officials say Emirati cargo flights have unloaded tanks, armored transports and heavy equipment on Socotra in what some locals have seen as an affront to Yemen’s internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.

Hadi’s government is at odds with the UAE, formally an ally in the war against Yemen’s Shite Houthi rebels. The Emiratis have been expanding their influence in southern Yemen.

A Saudi-led coalition, which also includes the UAE, has been battling Houthis for the past three years to restore Hadi to power.