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US: Houthi capabilities threaten navigation in Bab Al-Mandab

US Central Command chief General Joseph Votel [Sean K. Harp/Wikipedia]
US Central Command chief General Joseph Votel [Sean K. Harp/Wikipedia]

Houthi fighters in Yemen have developed military capabilities which threaten the freedom of navigation in the strategic Bab El-Mandab strait, a US army general warned on Wednesday.

General Joseph Votel told the House Armed Services Committee that the US does not want Yemen to be used as a sanctuary for attacks against America.

Read: US to further support Saudi in Yemen

“I am extraordinarily concerned about another contested maritime chokepoint in the region,” Votel said, referring to tensions with Iran over the Strait of Hormuz.

The Bab El-Mandeb Strait connects the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, a strategic passage for world trade.

The US has been supporting an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia since 26 March 2015 in the fight against Houthi rebels in Yemen and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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