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The Iranians and Houthis have gradually extended the range of their weapons from tens to a few hundred nautical miles. Rather than employing these weapons on board ships to extend range, they can now reach beyond 200 nm, using the new ballistic anti-ship missiles, practically blocking the movements of naval vessels well beyond Yemen's coastal waters.
The U.S. is bolstering its naval force operating off the Yemen coast and in the Bab El Mandeb straits connecting the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The main concern is that the Houthis will try to block the narrow maritime lane with mines. "We’ve seen evidence that the Houthis are laying mines in the waters outside at least one of their ports. We officially have great concern for the freedom of navigation there" Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told Stars & Stripes.