This comprehensive report provides a summary of the UAE’s military involvement in Eritrea. The UAE uses the port of Assab as a base from which to prosecute its war in Yemen.
The report alleges that 4,000 Yemeni fighters have been trained at Assab, but warns that this aligns Eritrea with the UAE against Asmara’s former allies: the Iranians.
These are some key passages. Full report below.
A U.N. report notes that the UAE signed a 30-year lease for the base, following a rancorous breakdown of negotiations for a similar site in Djibouti and the rupture of diplomatic relations between the two countries. This expansion is most directly linked to the campaign in Yemen, since Emirati special forces reportedly used this base to train some 4,000 Yemeni fighters who took part in the retaking and stabilization of the city of Mukalla from AQAP.
Assab served as the primary base for the UAE-led campaign to oust the Houthi rebels from Aden, as well as for key naval blockades in the campaign in southern Yemen. Hundreds of Sudanese soldiers taking part in the Yemen intervention were deployed by the UAE via Assab…
The base has already been used by the UAE to train Yemenis to combat the Houthi alliance and terrorist groups. Moreover, as Mello and Knights point out, “Whereas the entire Emirati homeland’s littoral is within the range of Iranian missiles, Assab provides depth that might allow a reserve force of Emirati surface combatants, aircraft, and even submarines to remain active and able to interdict Iran’s coastline and shipping during an extended war.”