Saturday, 20 July 2024
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668px-Edward Teach Commonly Calld Black Beard bwThe UK Defence Forum has done quick media trawl.

Houthi rebels have used one-way attack (OWA) drones and anti-ship missiles to target shipping in the Red Sea.

Drones have also been launched alongside missile fires in an attempt to overwhelm Western navies operating in the Red Sea. This tactic has - so far – failed but the threat of attacks mounted in waves must exercise military heads.

The Houthis have previously paraded examples of OWA attack drones, including the Qasef-1 and 2 that have a reported range of up 200km. They are also reported to possess longer-range Sammad drone types thought capable of flying distances between 500 and 1,800km.

A combined arsenal of anti-ship missiles also suggests the rebels may be capable of striking ships up to 800km off the coast of Yemen. Gunmen on board fast boasts have also attempted to hit shipping with small arms and rocket propelled grenades. In one notable attack, the rebels flew a military transport helicopter as part of their operation to seize the Israeli cargo ship - the Galaxy Leader.

While the civil war in Yemen has seen the rebels plunder such equipment from the country's military the US maintains its progressive array of drone and missile types originate from Iran. In November 2019 and February 2020, the US Navy intercepted two lone vessels in the Arabian Sea said to be carrying Iranian anti-ship and cruise missile components as well as drone parts destined for Yemeni rebels.

UN reporting has also suggested that components for Houthi weaponry has been sourced through global civilian supply chains via East Asia.

As of January 2024, the US Navy also confirmed it destroyed an unmanned drone boat - likely to be laden with explosives; a tried-and-tested tactic from the civil war that saw Houthi attacks on ports and a Saudi navy ship.

Port attacks/Saudi naval vessel and such wpns used prior in Yemen war

Sea mines were also sown in Yemeni waters during the course of the war.

However, mines have not been used to frustrate international shipping transiting towards the Red Sea - yet.

Edward Teach is the pen name of a historian and Research Associate of the U K Defence Forum. Smoke often comes out of his ears

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