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Key petroleum shipping route raises stakes in the Yemen conflict
Key petroleum shipping route raises stakes in the Yemen conflict

Its Arabic name, "Gate of Tears," is appropriately sorrowful for a waterway set alongside Yemen, now suffering a sixth week of punishing airstrikes. But the security of the Bab al Mandab, one of the world's most strategic straits, vastly raises the stakes in the conflict of the rugged and impoverished country perched at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The maritime artery, only 18 miles wide at its narrowest point, joins the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden — and by extension, the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. It is a vital energy pathway, with 4 million barrels of oil and petroleum products a day passing through on tankers heading to or from the Suez Canal,...

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