Yemen’s PM visits area near strategic Bab al-Mandeb straight

Yemen’s government spokesman says Prime Minister Khaled Bahah’s visit comes amid continuing clashes with militias

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Yemen’s government spokesman says the prime minister has visited an area leading to the Bab Al-Mandab straight, the strategic gateway to the Red Sea’s Suez Canal, after anti-militia forces pushed Shiite militias out of the immediate area.

Rajeh Badi says Prime Minister Khaled Bahah’s visit Saturday comes amid continuing clashes with militias, known as Houthis, who have been in control of the area near the straight.

Military officials from the anti-militia forces say their fighters advanced with air and naval support from a Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing Houthi positions.

Bab Al-Mandab was "brought under our control with the help of coalition forces, who provided ground, naval and air support," Gen. Ahmed said.

"The Houthis and their allies retreated to Mokha," a Red Sea port some 20 kilometers (12 miles) further north.

"We are awaiting orders from the political leadership and President Abedrabbu Mansour Hadi for the next move in the offensive," Ahmed added.

The attack took place "in response to rebel troop movements" toward Aden and the four other recaptured southern provinces, one source said. — Agencies Meanwhile, the Emirati foreign minister hailed advances made by Yemen's pro-government forces.

Bab Al-Mandab is the strategic southern entrance to the Red Sea and the gateway to the Suez Canal. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan says the capture "further marks the end of the control of the militias and their supporters." Al Nahyan spoke Friday at the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

[With Agencies]

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Oct. 3, 2015.

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