Much of the world’s maritime traffic passes through the Bab al-Manab Strait, which funnels shipping to and from the Suez Canal.
Sana’a (Alliance News) – Forces loyal to Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi, backed by a Saudi-led military alliance, regained the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait from Iran-backed rebels, a military official said Thursday.
The strait was “brought under our control with the help of coalition forces, who provided ground, naval and air support“.
In western Yemen, residents said coalition air strikes had destroyed a bridge on the main road linking Sanaa and Hodeidah, effectively cutting the capital off from Yemen’s main Red Sea port.
Loyalist military sources, including an officer, confirmed that the areas of Bab Al-Mandab and Dhubab had been retaken.
The group released a draft report that voiced continued support for Yemen’s former fugitive president, Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
The seizure of the Marib dam by militiamen fighting alongside Gulf troops is their biggest success in several weeks of an armed push toward the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa 110 km (70 miles) West that was slowed by landmines and stiff resistance from Houthi forces ensconced in rugged mountains.
The Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which includes the UAE, intervened in a bid to restore Yemen’s internationally recognised president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi to power. The United Nations says at least 2,355 civilians have been killed in fighting in Yemen since March, when the Saudi-led coalition began launching airstrikes.
The nutrition situation, which already before the conflict was dire in Yemen, meanwhile has worsened significantly, with 1.7 million children were at risk of malnutrition.
Mr. Hadi said that Yemen had appealed to neighbouring countries for assistance in tackling the Houthi militias, and that the response was a “courageous one”, particularly from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which, he said, had “acted with utter determination”.
Human Rights Watch accused the top United Nations human rights body of failing to improve scrutiny of abuses in Yemen by approving a resolution presented by Saudi Arabia – a major participant in the conflict.