It appears that Qatar does not allow tankers carrying LNG to sail through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait at the present time. Bloomberg News reported this based on shipping data. According to Bloomberg, at least four ships stopped last weekend before crossing the passage at the southern end of the Red Sea. Qatar has not responded yet.
The cessation of sailing comes after the escalation of attacks launched by the Houthis from Yemen. Months ago, out of solidarity with the Palestinians, they targeted Israeli ships in the Red Sea. In response, last Friday, the United States and the United Kingdom, with support from the Netherlands and other countries, carried out air strikes on Houthi military bases, airports and launch facilities.
Qatar, one of the world's largest exporters of liquefied natural gas, was one of the few gas suppliers still using the Red Sea and Suez Canal to send fuel to Europe. Although the Houthis have not attacked oil tankers yet, many LNG exporters are using alternative, longer shipping routes.
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