Egypt sends large naval-marine force to Bab el-Mandeb

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Egypt Sunday transferred war ships and marine forces as reinforcements for securing the Bab el-Mandeb Strait against Iranian-backed Houthi control. Egypt now deploys six warships and at least 1,000 marines at the vital shipping gateway.
Egypt will defend its Gulf allies “if we have to,” said President Abdel-Fatteh Al-Sisi Saturday night after a meeting of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. He stresse that Bab Al-Mandab Strait was a national security issue for Egypt and Arab countries. Arab national security would only be protected by Arab countries, said the president.
Egypt has closely monitored the civil war in Yemen, especially since the Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm began to end the Iranian-backed Houthi rebellion. The disruption of shipping in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait would directly affect traffic, including energy shipments, to and from the Gulf and Far East through Egypt’s Suez Canal.

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