UAE says it sent military recruits to Yemen island for drill

AP , Tuesday 16 May 2017

UAE troops in Yemen
File photo: A soldier from the United Arab Emirates stands guard next to a UAE military plane at the airport of Yemen's southern port city of Aden August 8, 2015. (Photo:Reuters)

The United Arab Emirates says it sent military recruits for training on a Yemeni island where its troops have been stationed.

UAE's state-run WAM news agency on Monday night described the training on Socotra Island as "intensive," saying it included battle skills, weapons training and first aid.

UAE forces and aid organizations have been on Socotra Island, which sits near the mouth of the Gulf of Aden, since a deadly cyclone struck in

November 2015. It represents a crucial chokepoint and has seen recent attacks from Somali pirates.

Emirati forces have military outposts in several areas in Yemen as part of an ongoing Saudi-led war there.

The UAE, while hosting some 5,000 American troops, increasingly is flexing its own military muscle in the region by opening bases abroad.

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