CAIRO, Four Egyptian warships crossed the Suez Canal Thursday en route to Yemen to secure Gulf of Aden, an Egyptian military source told Xinhua.
The source said the vessels were sent to Yemen to secure the Bab al-Mandab strait, a vital maritime corridor that controls access to the strategically-important Red Sea and eventually Suez Canal.
More ships based at the Suez Canal will move later in the day, the source added.
Saudi Arabia carried out air strikes against the Houthi forces in Yemen on Wednesday hours after the Shiite group pushed their way towards the southern port city of Aden.
The Saudi-led regional military operation dubbed “Firmness Storm” was supported by the United States and most Arab countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Jordan, but it was strongly opposed by Iran.
Egypt’s state-run Ahram newspaper quoted a military source as saying that its fighter unit was “on high alert and would intervene as long as there were orders from the Egyptian authorities.”
Egypt pledged complete support for the coalition against the Houthi group, saying in a statement that if the situation warrants, a ground troop must be needed as part of the coalition action.
“Coordination is under way with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to prepare for participation by the Egyptian air force and Egyptian navy,” the statement said.