From the Indian Ocean to the Med, military conflict menaces shipping
MARITIME security from the Indian ocean into the Med was little better last week with a suicide bombing in Somalia, air strikes against ISIS in Libya, and 5,000 fighters backing ousted Yemeni president Hada due to land in Aden.
"Somalia remains a permissive environment for piracy in the Indian Ocean, warns the weekly MAST maritime security outlook," said operations chief Gerry Northwood.
"Our recommendation is that ports controlled by ISIS should be avoided. For all other ports a full risk assessment should be carried out beforehand," Mr Northwood said.
The EU is another source of abraision as it seeks a UN Security Council Resolution to take invade Libyan waters against people smugglers.
But both Libyan "governments" vow to protect their sovereignty and the internationally recognised Libyan government, based in Tobruk, has warned the EU that it must seek permission and authority to operate inside Libyan territorial waters.
"In Mogadishu, a suicide bombing near the national intelligence headquarters killed four people. Al-Shabaab fighters were also killed. This was one of many attacks in a new Al-Shabaab campaign to coincide with Ramadan," said Mr Northwood.
In Libya, it has now been the turn of the Tripoli-based Libyan "Dawn" government to claim air strikes on ISIS. They have apparently bombed the ISIS-held town of Sirte.
Benghazi has also been several insurgent terrorist attacks in the last week with bombs and mortars targeting Libyan Army positions.
Said Mr Northwood said: "There is continuing hope among the western powers that the UN sponsored talks in Tripoli will result in a unity government in Libya."
But Yemeni talks in Geneva between the officially recognised government and the Houthi rebels, who hold the capital of Sana'a have failed.
Now forces loyal to ousted president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi are due to land 5,000 "trained" fighters in Aden.
Said Mr Northwood said: "In the short term we believe this is likely to result in intense fighting in Aden, which will increase the risk to commercial operations there.
A blockade of Yemen's sea and air ports by the Arab coalition has created a humanitarian crisis in which food, fuel and medicine are scarce, reports Dubai's Gulf News.
More than 20 million Yemenis - 80 per cent of the population - need aid, according to the United Nations.
Saudi Arabia and its allies fear the Houthi forces are a proxy for Iran in the Arabian Peninsula
Saba, the Houthi-run state news agency, quoted a military official as saying the border area had been taken by "a group of gunmen, Al Qaida militants and mercenaries".
The chief-of-staff for the pro-Hadi forces, General Mohammad Ali Al Maqdeshi, said border staff were struggling to cope with the waves of refugees.
The Port of Hodeidah to the north remains in rebels and "thus carries a slightly lower risk" being close to the Houthi-held capital.
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