Targeting cables in the Red Sea… pressure cards that herald war

The Red Sea region has entered a new crisis, with an international telecommunications company announcing the targeting of submarine cables in the region, adding to the tensions in navigation traffic that have escalated since last November 19 with Houthi targeting.

Experts in Yemeni affairs, communications and movement Sea shippingSky News Arabia spoke to them separately. They believe that it could be considered targeting Submarine cables In that region, which has been tense for months, “a new battle and pressure cards imposed by the parties threaten the outbreak of war as long as the Houthis do not stop.”

A remarkable development

On Tuesday, HGC Global Communications, based in Hong Kong, announced in a statement the interruption of three global communications and Internet cables passing through… Red Sea waterAccording to what was reported by the American Associated Press.

The same company explained that the cable outage affected 25% of the data flow that flowed from Asia to Europe through those cables, indicating that it had begun redirecting the data flow movement, without accusing anyone of responsibility for the outage, amid Houthi denials and Israeli accusations against him.

Since last November 19, ships in The Red Sea There were repeated Houthi attacks with missiles and marches, under the pretext of demanding a halt to the Gaza war, before last February 18, another Houthi threat appeared, following the announcement US Central CommandThe destruction of a Houthi submarine, days after the leadership announced the interception of an arms shipment coming to the right-wing group from Iran carrying submarines.

The incident comes weeks after the legitimate Yemeni government warned of the possibility of… The Houthis By targeting the cables in that international shipping lane, and days after the Rubimare commercial ship flying the Belize flag sank on Saturday, after a period of Houthi bombing of it in mid-February.

Bloomberg quoted Ryan Wopschall, Director General of the International Commission for Protection Submarine cables Affected by Houthi attacks, he said, “The Houthi bombing most likely caused the ship’s anchor to fall, resulting in damage to cables close to the site of its fall under the water.”

Compression papers

The Yemeni expert, Ashraf Al-Mansh, in statements to Sky News Arabia, provides details regarding the Houthi role linked to the Red Sea cables, saying:

  • 16 main communications cables pass through the Red Sea, including 4 cables that pass from Yemeni territorial waters in the parts controlled by the Houthi militias.
  • The militias are actually still reaping significant revenues from the international companies that manage these submarine cables, exploiting their control over the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Sanaa.
  • The most prominent of these cables are the Asia-Africa-Europe Cable 1 (AAE-1), the Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe Cable 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5), the Africa Cable 1 (Africa-1), and the Alcatel Network Flag Cable. – Lucent Optical (FALCON).
  • The first cable, the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) cable, was one of 3 cables that had already been cut in recent days, according to international and media reports.

Regarding the fact of the “Houthi” denial, the Yemeni expert revealed details related to a new Houthi weapon that entered service, saying:

  • Everyone knows that the Houthi militia is an armed gang, not a state, and has nothing to lose, and despite its denial of targeting submarine cables, it will not actually hesitate to sabotage those cables, especially those located at a depth of 150 to 170 meters under the sea’s surface, as part of its blackmail strategy and threats to the interests of the world.
  • The Houthis had made veiled threats weeks ago by publishing maps showing the intersection of undersea communications cables, coinciding with their announcement of the entry of the primitive submarine force into the front line in the Red Sea.
  • This development is a technology capable of cutting submarine cables, and the Houthis have developed it since 2018 with the help of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Lebanese Hezbollah, starting from the coast of Hodeidah Governorate, which is under their control.

Regarding the impact of this on the Red Sea crisis, Yemeni expert Ashraf Al-Mansh predicted the future, saying:

  • Targeting global internet cables under the sea will be the last card of the Houthi militia and the Iranian-led axis of resistance in the maritime confrontation, and will constitute a major escalation that may drag the region into a large-scale war.

Taking another look at that targeting, Ahmed Al-Shami, a maritime transport consultant and transportation economics expert, linked to Sky News Arabia the timing of that targeting and the sinking of the Rubimar ship, saying:

  • The incident of the announced targeting of submarine cables came from a reputable company, and the depths in the Red Sea are great, and striking a submarine cable requires advanced weapons, but there is no evidence of an effective interruption, especially if it happens, it will have a major impact, at the level of the Internet, and will not affect navigation because ships depend on it. On the satellite.
  • The targeting must be kept in mind that it came after a ship sank, 13 days after the Houthis were targeted in a strange way that raises many questions, after its owners abandoned it and left it to sink without any intervention.
  • The cable targeting incident is in addition to the crisis of cargo ships not passing due to Houthi threats, and this makes the Red Sea crisis continue to be negative, as 1,540 ships, from the outbreak of the crisis until March 4, avoided passing through it and used the Cape of Good Hope.

Battle of submarine cables

Speaking to Sky News Arabia, Ahmed Mukhtar, a communications and information technology expert, answers a question about who has the ability to target these cables and the impact of that, saying:

  • The targeting must have been carried out with a submarine and not with bombs and explosives, given the great depths at which the submarine cables are located in the Red Sea. This is a possibility that the Houthis will do with Iranian support, and America and its allies certainly have similar capabilities.
  • The battle of submarine cables is always considered pressure cards, and pressure cards will always continue as long as the crisis continues, and they will be soft power cards for everyone, not just the Houthis, due to their great importance, their connection between the East and the West, and the dependence of India and Europe on transferring data through them.
  • The impact of any damage to submarine cables is great, and will affect the world, and repairing it if it occurs will take time, and there are companies specialized in that, but in light of the war, there will be great challenges in front of them.

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