Credit: Bab al-Mandeb Strait/

The IMSC warns of threats in Bab al-Mandab and the Red Sea


Sat, 18-11-2023 11:36 AM, Aden Time

Bab al-Mandab (South24) 

On Thursday, the International Maritime Security Council (IMSC) warned of risks to ships passing through the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea.

The IMSC said in a message: “We continue to be concerned with a heightened threat level in the Red Sea. Approaching Bab al-Mandab continue to be an area of concern.”

The IMSC set several recommendations for ships passing through the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea, including “creating maximum feasible distance from Yemeni waters.”

The IMSC also advised ships to transit at night "to reduce the likelihood of visual identification by malign actors."

The IMSC did not specify the malign actors, but it most likely refers to the Iran-backed Houthi militia.

The Houthis warned last Tuesday that they would target any Israeli ship attempting to cross Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea.

Related: Houthi leader demands land crossing to fight Israel 

This came as part of a military escalation carried out by the Yemeni militias against Israel a month ago, which included drone and missile attacks against Eilat on the Red Sea.

One day after Houthi threats, the US Navy on Wednesday shot down a drone that approached the USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116).

Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, a to Houthi official, vowed to respond to the interception of the drone.

On November 8, the Houthis announced that they had shot down an American MQ9 drone in Yemeni territorial waters. The Pentagon acknowledged the incidence.

Bab al-Mandab Strait is considered one of the most important natural straits in the world.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on ClipperData, Inc; Suez Canal Authority; and International Group of LNG Importers (GIIGNL) using EIA conversion factors.

In 2018, an estimated 6.2 million barrels per day of crude oil, condensates, and refined petroleum products flowed through the Bab al-Mandab Strait towards Europe, the United States, and Asia.

Total oil flows through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait also accounted for about 9% of the total oil transported by sea (crude oil and refined petroleum products) in 2017.

More than 21,000 marine vessels pass through the strait annually, or about 57 marine vessels daily, which constitutes 12% of the volume of global trade.

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