Where is the UAE’s biggest military base on the coast of Hadhramaut?
Al-Riyan is a coastal city located in the east of Al-Mukalla city, the capital of Hadhramout province, which has recently entered the list of military targets of Ansar Allah. The importance of this coastal city was highlighted when the UAE, with the support of US and Israeli companies and consultants, began developing the city’s airport and port with the aim of increasing the oil exploits of Hadhramout province.
As it is evident from the satellite images of Al-Rayan airport, the UAE has increased its activities on the coasts of Hadhramaut province. The runway and buildings around the airport and Al-Rayan port have been fully developed in recent years, and various other projects are being built around the airport, which shows the UAE’s long-term plan for the coast of Hadhramaut.
By examining the satellite images of the airport, or rather Al-Rayan military base, we see the the Patriot air defense systems deployed by the UAE in this base. This issue, along with the flight of military transport planes of the United Arab Emirates or the United States (C17 Globemaster, C295W, a C-130 Hercules and V-22 Osprey) to this airport, determines the participation of the US companies and the presence of their advisers in Al-Rayan. This is contrary to the UAE’s alleged plan to withdraw its military from Yemen in 2019 and is proof of their serious activity in exporting/looting Hadhramaut oil and gas in Shabwah province. Of course, at that time, Ansar Allah and the analytical media rejected the claim of the UAE’s withdrawal from Yemen by providing documentation and stated that their plan is a kind of purposeful military presence in Yemen.
The deployment of the Patriot air defense system is not a new issue in Yemen, and we have seen it before in Marib, Aden and several other places in Yemen. But the interesting thing is that the distance between al-Dhaba and al-Rayan base is less than 12 kilometers, and these systems did not show any activity in the recent Ansar Allah drone attack on al-Dhaba port!
In general, the coastal city of Al-Rayan has become a source for the export of petroleum products in Yemen, especially in Hadhramout province, and Ansar Allah cannot ignore this issue. Countering the looting of Yemen’s wealth is one of the main slogans of Ansar Allah leaders in their speeches, and with the end of the ceasefire announced by the United Nations, these points can be considered as new legitimate targets of Ansar Allah’s missile and drone attacks.