Yemen conflict spilling into maritime domain

The Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which witnesses 7 percent of the world’s maritime traffic, is the scene of a non-traditional war that is threatening the passage of some 25,000 ships annually and 4.7 million oil barrels daily, said a US Energy Information Administration report.

Saudi military expert Amro al-Ameri said that trade ships are the most vulnerable to the militia attacks because international law does not allow them to be armed.

He warned that the Houthi attacks are not limited against Arab Coalition ships, but they are a violation of international and maritime laws, which threatens world peace. He therefore underlined the need for political escalation from the entire world, not just the Arab Coalition, to confront the threat.

Ameri said that warships can confront the Houthi boats as they are equipped to deal with marine warfare. The difficulty lies in protecting civilian or trade ships, he said, because they travel in a “peaceful manner and are simply crossing the strait.”

Full story here: Asharq al-Awsat