Middle east

New Incident in the Red Sea Threatens Global Communications… Details

After weeks of warnings from the official Yemeni government about the possibility of Houthi targeting of cables, a new incident in the Red Sea on Monday evening resulted in the cutting of three undersea cables that provide internet and communications worldwide. The waterway remains a target for the Houthi group in Yemen, as confirmed by officials.

Israeli reports last week indicated that the Houthis were behind the damage to the cables, while Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi denied these accusations, stating, “We have no intention of targeting the undersea cables that provide internet to the region.”

The Yemeni government emphasized in a statement last week the importance of protecting undersea cables and stated that it is “also keen to provide all necessary facilities for the repair and maintenance of these undersea cables.”

On the other hand, Hong Kong-based company HGC Global Communications stated that the severed cables include Asia-Africa-Europe 1, Europe-India Gateway, and South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5), according to the Associated Press.

The company mentioned that the disruption of the cables affected 25% of traffic flowing through the Red Sea and that they had begun to reroute traffic.

The Houthi group in Yemen has been launching missiles and drones loaded with explosives at commercial ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden since November 19 last year, in protest against Israel’s severe attacks on Gaza.

Last week, the Houthis sent official notices to shipping officials and insurance companies regarding what they described as “banning ships affiliated with Israel, the United States, and Britain from sailing in the waters near the region.”

The group also threatened to deploy submarines to carry out attacks in the Red Sea, raising concerns about targeting internet lines passing through it.

It is still unclear how the Houthis could attack the undersea cables themselves, and it is not known whether they have the ability to dive to target lines located hundreds of meters deep under the waterway’s surface.

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