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Report: UAE to launch satellite network to target Yemeni migrants for its war-related agenda

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has played a key role in shaping his country's policy on Yemen. (Photo by AFP)

The United Arab Emirates is reportedly set to launch a satellite news network in an attempt to portray its participation in the war on Yemen in a positive light and recruit mercenaries.

The proposed news network, which goes by the name ‘Al-Motarab’ will be bankrolled by Emirati and Saudi tycoons as part of a project dubbed ‘Taking Care of Yemeni Migrants,’ Sana’a-based Yemen Press Agency (YPA) said.

“The UAE is preparing to launch a satellite channel to target Yemeni migrants in order to recruit mercenaries and pursue its criminal case against Yemeni civilians,” the report said.

Saeed bin Rabaa, a Yemeni journalist living in France, will reportedly oversee operations of the channel.

Rabaa has been a staunch supporter of the Saudi-Emirati coalition in the war-torn Arab country, and is considered one of the “Emirati mercenaries in Europe,” the report said.

The satellite network, the report added, is likely to start operations from Cairo, before moving to Riyadh. The founders of the network are also in the process of opening the network’s office in Europe.

The YPA said “informed sources” have warned of the network’s “suspicious agenda” designed to “serve the Saudi-Emirati coalition” in Yemen and to “justify Abu Dhabi’s plot to divide Yemen and seize its wealth.”

The sources have also warned that the network could be used to “attract Yemeni migrants” in line with the agenda of the Emirati lobby in Europe and “Abu Dhabi’s plots to incite sedition in Muslim communities.”

The move is also seen as part of desperate efforts to rebuild frayed ties between the two Arab countries, who have lately been locked in a bitter diplomatic row.

Last month, the UAE blocked a decision by the OPEC+ alliance of oil-producing countries to increase global oil supply, with Abu Dhabi saying that the deal pitched by Riyadh and Moscow was “unfair to the UAE.”

Emirati agenda in Yemen

The UAE, which has purportedly reduced its military presence in Yemen, continues to be active in several key Yemeni islands, according to reports.

Most recently, satellite images showed Emiratis building a massive air base on the island of Mayun which is located in Bab el-Mandeb Strait that links the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.

Abu Dhabi also controls the island of Socotra – known as the 'Jewel of Arabia' – in the Gulf of Aden which is much larger in size than Mayun and home to 60,000 residents.

The Emiratis use the military base in Socotra to collect intelligence on maritime traffic in Bab el-Mandeb and the Gulf of Aden.

Reports last month said the UAE government had issued identity cards to a number of residents of the strategic island in a bid to change their identity.

The violation of Yemen's territorial integrity by the UAE, together with Saudi Arabia, has been repeatedly decried by the Yemeni government, rights organizations and the international community.

The Yemeni Tourism Ministry last month slammed the UAE for “violating international law,” while stressing that Socotra is a Yemeni island occupied by the aggressors (Saudi-led coalition).

It also said that Emiratis were transferring Israeli tourists to the Island, which it claimed was in line with the Zionist schemes to dominate Yemeni islands.

Devastating war in Yemen

Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and regional allies, launched a devastating war on Yemen in 2015, aimed to reinstall the regime of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and to crush the popular Ansarullah movement.

Yemeni armed forces and allied popular committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, with a series of military and diplomatic victories.

Yemenis have stepped up their attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent months, saying the retaliatory strikes will continue as long as Riyadh carries on with its policy of bombardment and blockade.

The Saudi-led military aggression in the war-torn country has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis, and displaced millions of others. It has also created the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history.

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