Houthis Are Using Unmanned Subs In Red Sea

Since their attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden began, the Yemeni Houthi rebels have used an autonomous submarine, most likely provided by Iran. No hit on a U.S. naval vessel has resulted in the Houthis and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reevaluating their approach. In retaliation for the rebels’ UUV usage, the United States launched five self-defense attacks in Yemeni territory controlled by the Houthis.

The Houthis have been launching attacks on ships and commerce through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, a vital Red Sea passage, since Israel attacked Gaza after the October 7 massacre by Hamas militants. Rebels reportedly shot down a tens of millions of dollars American drone and severely damaged a ship in a vital strait last week.

The Houthis and Western officials both recognized one of the rebels’ most devastating strikes on ships on Monday. Central Command of the United States military said that the Houthis attacked the Belize-flagged bulk carrier Rubymar with one of their two anti-ship ballistic missiles. The Houthis’ attempts to attack American ships have been fruitless.

On January 15, a ship traveling from Iran to Yemen under Houthi control was stopped by the U.S. Coast Guard. On board, they found a cache of weapons, including parts for the unmanned vessels. After a different militia group—also funded by Iran—attacked the American base in Jordan, killing three military men, the United States ramped up its defensive strikes.

The Houthis, who are associated with Iran, launched a drone strike on an American destroyer and claimed responsibility for an assault on a cargo ship owned by the United Kingdom. On Thursday, they also launched ballistic missiles and drones towards Eilat, a port and vacation city in Israel.

To bolster their military assault, the Houthis notified insurers and shippers of what they claimed was a prohibition on ships associated with the United States, Britain, and Israel from sailing in the surrounding seas. Marine underwriters had previously limited coverage availability or raised rates, according to insurance sources; thus, there has been no change in rates since the advisory was issued.