Bab el-Mandeb Strait is a waterway that runs between Arabia and Africa, connecting the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. It is divided into two channels by Perim Island. It gained strategic prominence following the opening of the Suez Canal as it linked the Mediterranean Sea with East Asia.
The Red Sea port of Mokha in southwest Yemen near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait was attacked with missiles by Houthi rebels recently. The port, which serves as the headquarters of the government forces of Yemen, is a critical link to humanitarian aid for the war-hit nation.