Bab El Mandeb
Yemen’s “Gate of Tears”: the Strategic Red Sea Strait of Bab El Mandeb
Tuesday, 19th May 2015
Bab El Mandeb has long been a historical and civilizational chokepoint where the shortest trade routes between Europe, North Africa, India, and East Asia can be controlled—or stopped. However, recent events in Yemen, with Houthi rebels in control of a number of ports along Yemen’s Red Sea coast, and the Arab bombing campaign of Yemen—which Egypt is party to—have made the future of the straights uncertain. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an estimated 3.8 million b/d of crude oil and refined petroleum passed through the Bab El-Mandeb waterway in 2013, making it a critical junction for world trade.