Yemen chaos spreads towards Red Sea

Threats to shipping in region focus minds.

Yemen chaos spreads towards Red Sea chokepoint

Stephen Spark

Oil-exporting countries of the Arabian Gulf are watching anxiously as the security situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate in the wake of US-backed President Hadi’s resignation on Thursday.

The previous day, the port of Aden was closed as Houthi rebels briefly seized control of the presidential palace in the Yemeni capital Sana’a. The port reopened on Thursday, but the situation remains tense.

Concern is growing that, without an effective government, the country is descending into civil war and anarchy, prompting uncomfortable comparisons with its neighbour on the opposite side of the Gulf of Aden, Somalia. Yemen has a long land border with Saudi Arabia and controls the north side of the Bab el-Mandeb, the narrow eastern entrance to the Red Sea.

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