WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — “From our perspective, we have seen no change to the movement of vessels,” Edmundson said on Friday.
Edmundson is the Commander of Combined Task Force 150 and Operation ARTEMIS, which is Canada’s contribution to maritime security and counterterrorism operations in the international waters of the greater Middle East region, including the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, and Gulf of Oman.
At present, Yemen is “the hottest area in the region,” Edmundson said, and it gets the most attention given the recent activity in and around Bab el-Mandeb strait. The strait is part of one of the world’s most important maritime trade routes passing through the Suez Canal and linking Europe with Asia.
Last week, a Saudi frigate came under attack by three suicide boats off the west coast of Yemen, which comprises Bab el-Mandeb strait and the Red Sea. Following the event, the United States deployed the Navy destroyer USS Cole to patrol the area.
Edmundson said the Yemen conflict gets a lot of the attention in the region.
“That is certainly taking a lot of the attention…and the efforts by respected nations to try to maintain a sense of peace and stability and security so that we can continue to ensure that the international waters…remain open and free for use by international community,” he added.
Yemen’s civil war between the internationally recognized Aden-based government and the Houthi movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in March 2015. The Saudi-led coalition of Persian Gulf countries began the same month and has since been criticized for hitting civilians, causing disproportional child casualties and damaging vital non-military infrastructure.