U.S. will work to ensure Bab-el-Mandeb strait remains open: U.S. general

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military will work with Gulf and European partners to ensure the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait at the tip of the Red Sea remains open to commerce despite fighting and instability in Yemen, the head of U.S. forces in the region said on Thursday. "We would work in conjunction with our GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) partners to ensure that those straits remain open," U.S. Army General Lloyd Austin told a Senate hearing. "It is one of our core interests to ensure that we have free flow of commerce through both straits," he added, referring to Bab el-Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz. (Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Susan Heavey)