Middle east

A Hypersonic Missile: The secrets of Iranian funding for Houthi armament

The Houthi militias in Yemen have unveiled a new missile that runs on solid fuel in their arsenal, resembling a missile previously showcased by Iran, which Tehran described as flying at supersonic speeds.

Houthi Missile

The American news agency “Associated Press” confirmed that the Houthi militias launched the new “Palestine” missile, equipped with a warhead painted in the shape of a Palestinian keffiyeh, at the port of Eilat in the southern Gulf of Aqaba in Israel on Monday.

The attack triggered air raid sirens but did not cause any damage or injuries.

Footage released by the Houthis late on Wednesday shows the Houthi missile apparently rising from a mobile launch platform and quickly ascending into the air with plumes of white smoke emanating from its engine. White smoke is common in missiles that run on solid fuel.

The agency explained that missiles using solid fuel can be prepared and launched more quickly than those using liquid fuel, a major concern for the Houthis, as their missile launch sites have been frequently targeted by U.S. forces and their allies in recent months due to rebel attacks on shipping through the Red Sea. One such strike hit the Houthis even before they could launch their missile.

Iranian Armament

The American agency added that, according to the Houthis, the Palestine missile is “locally made.” However, it is unlikely that the Houthis possess the capability to manufacture complex missile systems and guidance devices locally in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, ravaged by war since the Houthis took over the capital Sanaa nearly a decade ago.

Houthi officials in Yemen are holding at least nine United Nations staff and others in a sudden crackdown, according to officials.

The Houthis claim that at least 16 people were killed and 42 injured in joint U.S.-British airstrikes in Yemen.

The agency stressed that the Houthis have been frequently armed by Iran during the war despite a United Nations-imposed arms embargo. Although Iran claims not to arm the Houthis, ships seized by the U.S. and its allies have found Iranian weapons, missile fuel, and components on board.

Iranian media reported on the launch of the Palestine missile, describing it as locally made, quoting the Houthis. However, the design elements of the missile resemble other missiles developed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. This includes the “Fateh” missile.

Iran unveiled this missile last year and claimed it could reach speeds of up to Mach 15, or 15 times the speed of sound. They also described the missile’s range as reaching 1400 kilometers (870 miles).

In March, the Russian state news agency “RIA Novosti” cited an anonymous source claiming that the Houthis possess a hypersonic missile.

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