Iran-backed Houthis may threaten more maritime attacks - analysis

The concerns about Houthi threats at sea come after Iran targeted a commercial ship last week using a Shahed drone flown from Chabahar.

Missiles and drone aircrafts are seen on display at an exhibition at an unidentified location in Yemen in this undated handout photo released by the Houthi Media Office (photo credit: HOUTHI MEDIA OFFICE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Missiles and drone aircrafts are seen on display at an exhibition at an unidentified location in Yemen in this undated handout photo released by the Houthi Media Office
(photo credit: HOUTHI MEDIA OFFICE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

The Iranian-backed Houthi group in Yemen appears to be threatening more maritime attacks.

Yemeni Chief of Staff Sagheer bin Aziz, commander of the Joint Operations General, warned that the Houthis could increase their attacks on naval targets, Al-Ain News in the UAE reported.

Bin Aziz, who was appointed in February 2020 by Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, is known to be a strong opponent of the Houthis. Hadi stepped down from his position last year.

The concerns about Houthi threats at sea come after Iran targeted a commercial ship last week using a Shahed drone flown from Chabahar. This is not the first time Iran has done this, and the regime drone threat on the seas is increasing.

“The threat of the terrorist Houthi militia to waterways and international navigation is an extension of its terrorist acts that began years ago by threatening the lives of Yemenis.”

Sagheer bin Aziz

“The threat of the terrorist Houthi militia to waterways and international navigation is an extension of its terrorist acts that began years ago by threatening the lives of Yemenis,” Sagheer was quoted as saying by Al-Ain.

Newly recruited Houthi soldiers march during the funeral of Houthi fighters killed during recent fighting against government forces, in Sanaa, Yemen, December 6, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/KHALED ABDULLAH)Newly recruited Houthi soldiers march during the funeral of Houthi fighters killed during recent fighting against government forces, in Sanaa, Yemen, December 6, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/KHALED ABDULLAH)

The threat of Iran, Houthi drones in the waters in and around Yemen

Earlier this month, the US intercepted a shipment of 70 tons of fuel destined for Yemen, which was likely being sent to the Houthis from Iran for rockets. The Iranian missile fuel was hidden on a dhow that was off the coast and not flying any national flag, indicating it was involved in some kind of illegal smuggling. The discovery of the fuel points to nefarious Iranian activity.

“The Houthi militia also threatens maritime navigation at the behest and direct support of Iran,” Bin Aziz said, stressing that the damage caused by these threats would reach all countries in the region if Iran’s actions are not opposed, the report said.

Bin Aziz is a key ally of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. His statement comes after his forces “thwarted the Houthi militia’s military stationing in locations overlooking the Red Sea, as well as its testing of an anti-ship missile with the support of the Iranian [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps],” the report said.

The Houthis control a coastal strip of land in Yemen that extends about 300 kilometers until Hodeidah, it said.