The vexed question of UAE drones in the Tigray war
Is the United Arab Emirates supplying drones to Eritrea which are being used in the war in Tigray?
It is a question to which there is no easy answer.
There are a good number of claims like this one.
Is it accurate?
This was assessed in a report by Bellingcat – the independent group of citizen journalists who assess open source data on such claims.
Their report, on 19 November, came to this conclusion.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″]
“Possible, but improbable
In sum, the claims made by the Tigray forces are not impossible, but so far they seem improbable. Satellite imagery confirms the presence of Chinese-produced drones at the UAE’s military base in Assab, but that is all it confirms. There is currently no further evidence that these same drones have been involved in operations in support of the Ethiopian airforce, though there have been confirmed sightings of Ethiopian jet fighters in the conflict zone.” [/perfectpullquote]
Since then there have been other reports.
Another analyst came up with conclusion after looking at the movement of aircraft between the UEA and Eritrea and Ethiopia.
There is one thing we know: the UAE’s use of its base in Assab was part of its war in Yemen, but that has been going badly in recent months and the UEA has gone some way to withdrawing from the conflict.