Engaging Yemen’s Maritime Forces
By Lieutenant Commander Ron Terrell, U.S. Navy
Connecting the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb squeezes between Yemen and Africa (specifically, Djibouti and Eritrea). It is a prime area for piracy or waterborne terrorist attacks. Through this narrow, critical waterway pass 80,000 tons of shipping daily. Additionally, Yemen’s southeastern coast is a gateway for smuggled goods originating from Pakistan’s Makran coast, trade that often finances al Qaeda operations in Yemen and other parts of the region.