The MQ-9 that the Houthis said they shot down in Marib airspace May 29, 2024 (Activists on X)

Houthis target 12 vessels in a week, obtain Iranian missile technology


Thu, 30-05-2024 10:05 PM, Aden

 Aden (South24)

In a marked escalation of their attacks, the Houthi militia in a week have targeted 12 vessels in three seas, with six attacks taking place on Tuesday, according to the group. Meanwhile, the US Army announced the destruction of nine drones launched by the Houthis since Friday (May 24). 

On Thursday (May 30), Houthi Leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi declared that Yemeni forces will continue their military operations and escalate them "in quality and quantity" in support of Palestinians in Israel's war on Gaza.

In a televised address, al-Houthi said 129 ships have been targeted since the start of the operations "which is a large number".

"There is no decline in the level of our operations, but a reduction in the movement of American and British ships to Occupied Palestine," he said, dismissing claims that Yemen has cut down on its attacks.

Al-Houthi said this week, his militia have carried out 12 operations in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. 

"The operation continues in the framework of the fourth phase and will increase in terms of quantity and quality," he warned. 

On Wednesday, the Houthi militia said that they targeted six ships in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Mediterranean, including the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier ’Laax‘ which was damaged by a Houthi missile in Tuesday’s attack off the Yemeni coast.

The Houthis said that they targeted two vessels in the Arabian Sea and one in the Mediterranean. 

According to the Houthi Military Spokesperson Yahya Sarea, the attacks targeted the carrier ’Laax’ which was largely damaged. This is in addition to targeting two other ships, ‘Morea’ and ‘Sealady’, in the Red Sea, along with the ’Alba’ and the American ‘Maersk Hartford’ in the Arabian Sea, as well as the ‘Minerva Antonia’ in the  Mediterranean Sea.

He added that these attacks are part of expanding “the fourth stage”.

On Monday May 27, the Houthis announced targeting three commercial ships by using missiles, including two vessels in the Indian Ocean.

On May 24, the Houthi Military Spokesperson announced targeting three other vessels, two in the Red Sea and one in the Mediterranean.

This is the biggest escalation since a limited decrease in attacks over the past weeks.

Yesterday (May 29), the Houthi militia announced shooting down an MQ-9 American Reaper drone over Marib. The military media affiliated with the group published a video of an alleged defense missile that shot down the Reaper drone.

Controversy has arisen over the accuracy of the Houthi claims, as local media platforms and residents have circulated photos and footage of the American drone in the Marib desert where it appeared almost intact with only minor damage.

Military experts, whose opinions are seen by ’South24 Center‘, have cast doubts on the Houthi claim of shooting down the Reaper drone.

The Associated Press cited an American defense official as saying that "the U.S. Air Force has not lost any aircraft operating within U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility." The official declined to elaborate.

The official authorities affiliated with the Yemeni Internationally-Recognized Government haven’t commented on the incidents. 

There are growing fears that the Houthis or Iran can use parts of the American drone, which is valued at about $30 million each, to use its sophisticated technology for their own military use or get a close look into the sophisticated US drone system.

According to “Trendy Digests”, “The loss of the Reaper drones, which are valued at approximately $30 million each, represents not only a significant financial blow but also a strategic setback for U.S. intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. It poses an even more significant risk if the technology within these downed drones, specifically the sophisticated sensor suites and communication links, were to be exploited by adversaries such as Iran.”

The semi-official Iranian news agency ’Tasnim‘ said on Wednesday that the Houthi rebels have developed a missile known as ‘Muhit Ghader’ which is capable of hitting maritime targets. It indicated that the Houthis have obtained the technology required to manufacture the anti-ship ballistic missiles from Iran.

Ghader is an intermediate-range ballistic missile developed by Iran. It has a range of 1,600 to 1,950 kilometers. Tasnim, which is affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, described the missile as being the first Iranian locally-made naval ballistic missile. 

The agency added: “The ballistic missile Ghader which is launched from the sea was delivered to Yemeni Houthi fighters.”

Later, the agency deleted the Arabic version of the report, as ’South24 Center‘ noted.

In the English version, Tasnim said: “Iran’s technical know-how to produce such anti-ship missiles is now at the disposal of the Yemeni military forces.”

The US Central Command, in separate statements between May 25-29, said that it destroyed nine drones over the Red Sea, launched from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen. It also announced the destroying of two missile launching platforms affiliated with the militias. 

South24 Center

YemenHouthisUnited StatesMaribMQ9EscalationRed Sea