Egypt will interfere militarily if Yemen's Bab Al-Mandab strait is blocked: Suez Canal head

Ahram Online , Wednesday 4 Feb 2015

The strategic waterway, linking the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, is threatened by fighting in Yemen

Mohab Mamish
Lieutenant General Mohab Mamish (Photo: Reuters)

The head of Egypt's Suez Canal Authority said Wednesday his country would send troops to Yemen in case extremist groups attempt to block Bab Al-Mandab strait that links the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Lieutenant General Mohab Mamish said that Egypt "will not accept" closure of the waterway which "directly affects the Suez Canal and national security." Mamish said events in Yemen are under constant review and that the military is ready to intervene if the strait is blocked.

Most ships that pass through Bab Al-Mandab are either going to or coming from Egypt's Suez Canal, one of the country's main sources of income and foreign currency flow.

Yemen has been gripped by chaos since Shia Houthi rebels took control of the capital and challenged the central government. The poor Arabian Peninsula state is also fighting a local Al-Qaeda branch on its territories, one of the strongest offshoots of the group.

Houthis recently claimed control over a number of strategic posts in the capital, Sanaa.

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