Egyptian President abdel El-Sisi said on Saturday that Egypt will ensure that the El-Mandab strait remains open for traffic, stating, “El-Mandab strait is Egyptian and Arab national security,” according to an Al Ahram report.
Iranian supported Houthi rebels are trying to take over Yemen.
If Iran blocks the El-Mandab strait it would directly and disastrously affect Egypt’s Suez Canal traffic, which is Egypt’s main sources of income.
The Bab-el-Mandeb is a strait located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, and Djibouti and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa. It connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. It is sometimes called the Mandab Strait. The Bab-el-Mandeb acts as a strategic link between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. In 2006, an estimated 3.3 million barrels (520,000 m3) of oil passed through the strait per day, out of a world total of about 43 million barrels per day (6,800,000 m3/d) moved by tankers, according to Wikipedia.
Since the Saudi led intervention in Yemen began, Egypt has sent air and sea support to the region, but no ground troops as of yet. Sending ground troops has not been ruled out, if needed.
El-Sisi vowed to support the Arab Gulf countries, “Our benefit is in the security and stability of the Arab countries, and the whole world if possible… We will not let down our brotherly Gulf countries.”