Analysis on the conflict on the Bab al-Mandeb's northern border.

Alexander Farrow, Business Intelligence Officer at MAST comments on the conflict. 
There have been reports of heavy fighting for the control of the strategic Bab al-Mandeb Strait in Yemen between forces loyal to President Hadi and ousted President Saleh.  19 combatants have been killed in the last few days.  The concern is that if the fighting escalates, especially if long range artillery is employed, this could further militarise the Strait’s northern border, and possibly create a heated kinetic environment within close proximity to sea lanes.
The Houthi’s, who control Yemen’s capital Sanna and the entirety of Yemen’s Red Sea border, have shown no intent to disrupt Red Sea shipping – their fight has been on land. Equally, conflict from the civil war in Yemen has been contained by an effective blockade enforced by Saudi Arabia.
It is unlikely that a passing merchant vessel would be intentionally targeted, but conflicts are always subject to uncertainty.
MAST continues to monitor the situation.

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