CAIRO: Egypt’s National Defense Council (NDC) ordered Sunday evening to continue sending Egyptian Special Task Forces to “secure the Bab al- Mandeb Strait, Red Sea and the Gulf region for more three months,” stated presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef.
The NDC includes President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and the Ministers of Defense, Interior, and Finance, and other top military generals.
Sending troops came “in the framework of applying Egypt’s international commitments,” he added. Egypt has joined the Saudi Arabia-led military campaign of Gulf States against Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen that began March 26.
The strait is a strategic waterway for Egypt’s national security and the main entrance for access to the Suez Canal. Located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula and Djibouti and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa, it connects the Red Sea with Gulf Sea.
Days after joining the Gulf alliance, Sisi stated that Egypt has the right to intervene militarily to prevent Houthis from controlling or closing the strait, adding that such a closure “would have negative effects on the trade in Egypt’s strategic Suez Canal, one of the country’s main sources of income.”