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Saudi-led military coalition claims it’s behind military development on Red Sea Island

The Saudi-led military coalition engaged in Yemen said on Wednesday that it had established its presence on a strategic island at the entrance to the Red Sea to tackle perceived threats to maritime trade from the Iran-aligned Houthi movement.  

The statement was issued in response to an Associated Press report citing Yemeni officials saying the United Arab Emirates was behind an airbase that has come upon Perim Island, also known as Mayun, in the vital Bab al-Mandab strait. 

“All equipment currently present on Mayum Island is under control of the Coalition Command, and is situated there to counter the Houthi militia, secure maritime navigation, and support West Coast forces,” said a statement on Saudi state news agency SPA, citing an unnamed official in the coalition. 

The official dismissed as “baseless” reports that Emirati forces were present on Perim and Socotra islands, saying current UAE efforts were focused on providing air support for coalition operations in the mainland city of Marib, which Houthi forces are trying to seize.  

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