Watan-The American magazine “Foreign Policy” shed light on the threats posed by the Houthis in the region, confirming that the next target for the Iranian-backed group includes a disturbing threat in the Red Sea that may be underwater to strike maritime communication cables, including internet lines.
The magazine, in an analysis reported by “Watan,” stated that the upcoming targets for the Houthis may include vital maritime communication cables, including internet lines, passing through the Red Sea and connecting Asia to Europe.
The analysis referenced what was published by one of the accounts on Telegram late last December, where a map illustrating the routes of fiber optic cables passing through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait west of Yemen was shared.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, this hint had a wide echo and discussion among other armed groups supported by Iran, including the Lebanese Hezbollah.
Significant threat to communications and financial transactions
The magazine quoted Timothy Strong, Vice President of Research at the telecommunications company “TeleGeography,” as saying, “More than 99 percent of intercontinental communications pass through submarine cables.”
Strong added that this is not limited to the internet alone but includes financial transactions and transfers between banks and even defense institutions.
The technical official warned that the Houthi group, classified on the US terrorism lists, is already capable of damaging submarine cables, which are usually well-installed on the seabed.
However, Bruce Jones, a researcher at the American Brookings Institution, clarified that the Houthi arsenal of weapons does not pose a real threat to submarine cables because attempting to destroy them requires diving to the seabed.
However, the situation may become different if Iran supports them with weapons that threaten underwater communication infrastructures, especially amid escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington in the region.
Fear of Iranian intervention
The question then arises about “the extent of Iranians’ possession of these capabilities? Will they proceed with such a step?”
However, on the other hand, there are less costly ways that do not require high technology to destroy the cables existing underwater, especially in locations where they are placed in shallow waters.
The Houthis, supported by Iran, have carried out dozens of attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, suspected to be linked to Israel or heading towards its ports.
The group says its attacks in the Red Sea are in support of the Gaza Strip, which is witnessing a brutal Israeli war and a suffocating siege against millions of children and women.
US and British forces responded with three strikes on Houthi-affiliated sites in Yemen since January 12th of last year.