Yemen's Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, General Hussein Arab, has revealed that the army, backed by Saudi-led coalition forces, has secured the strategic Bab Al-Mandeb Strait at the mouth of the Red Sea. He made the announcement at a symposium organised by the University of Aden on Monday
The event looked at maritime piracy and the risks to Yemen's economy and regional and international security. The strategically-important waterway connects the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean; 50 per cent of the world's oil supplies pass through it.
General Arab added that the Houthi rebels have tried to control and affect the strait in various ways, causing more than $350 million in losses per year for Yemen. The cost of maritime insurance has also increased by more than 400 per cent as a result of the rebels' efforts. Local fisherman have faced significant losses dues to terrorist attacks.
However, the minister denied that the southern provinces serve as an incubator for Al-Qaeda militants. There is compelling evidence, he insisted, to show who is behind the terrorism, which will be revealed should local or international tribunals ever be held.