For over 9 years, a war in Yemen has drawn in regional powers as well as the US and European nations. It’s a terrible proxy war that has become a major strategic struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The conflict impacts world oil supplies, and global shipping routes. Take a look at this map that shows the two main alliances forming in the middle east. There are growing concerns that what is essentially a cold war could go hot. The situation got so bad that China stepped in to broker a tense deal in March 2023 between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Written by: Chris Cappy & Diego Aceituno Edited by: Maksym Map Animations by: Syed Part of the reason Yemen is so geopolitically important is because of their geographic location along the southwestern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Saudi Arabia and Oman. The country has a large maritime border along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden that stretches for 1,906 kilometers of coastline. This includes the Arabian side of the Bab al-Mandab Strait that connects the Red Sea and the Gulf and leads to the Suez Canal, making the Strait one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. 9% of the worlds seaborne traded oil transits through this choke point and roughly 22,000 ships pass through here each year making it an important geostrategic location. Any American naval ships passing through here on the way to the Mediterranean are vulnerable to missile attacks from the shore.