Forces loyal to the exiled Yemeni President, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is supported by the Arab coalition fighting against the Houthi rebels, have retaken the key Bab al Mandeb Strait.
The strategic strait connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the rest of the Indian Ocean, there was no confirmation on the loss of the key strait by the Houthi rebels.
Rajeh Badi, told Reuters via phone call from the southern port city of Aden that, "In a large-scale military operation launched today, Yemeni government, resistance and coalition forces liberated the Bab al Mandeb Strait and island of Mayun with the goal of safeguarding this key sea route."
On Thursday, Reuters news agency quoted local witnesses as saying, air strikes and shelling by warships provided support to the ground forces advancing towards the area.
No immediate confirmation that the strait had fallen has been officially released as of yet.
A Yemeni military official who spoke to DPA news agency on Thursday said, there were casualties from both sides.
Bab al Mandeb is one of the world's busiest shipping routes, with much of the Middle East's oil exports passing through the body of water.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, about 3.4 million barrels of oil per day passes through Bab al Mandeb Strait.
Six months ago, Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh, former Yemeni president, captured Bab al Mandab and island of Mayun in southwestern Yemen, during their campaign to capture territories across Yemen.