Forces loyal to Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi — and backed by Saudi-led air power — have retaken the Bab el-Mandeb Strait from the Shia Houthi militant group and allied forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a senior Yemeni military official has said.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Anadolu Agency that army troops and pro-Hadi “popular resistance” committees had reestablished control over the strategic waterway and the island of Mayoun.
The Bab-el-Mandeb is the narrow strait — considered highly strategic — that separates the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa and links the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.
The military source provided no further information about the operations that led to the waterway’s recapture.
The Houthi leadership, for its part, has yet to issue a statement on the source’s assertions.
Yemen descended into chaos last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa. In April, the Shia militia also managed to capture Aden, from which Hadi — along with most of his government — was forced to flee to Riyadh.
In March, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched an extensive air campaign targeting Houthi positions across Yemen, allowing pro-Hadi forces to retake most of Aden province.
Earlier this month, following a string of Houthi reverses, Hadi himself returned to the war-torn country after six months in Saudi Arabia.
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