Ship sunk by Houthis likely responsible for damaging 3 telecommunications cables under Red Sea

The US estimates that three sea cables under the Red Sea that were damaged last week were likely severed by a ship’s anchor as it was sinking after an attack by the Houthis.

“Those cables were largely severed by an anchor that was being towed from the Rubymar as it sank,” White House national security communications adviser John Kirby told CBS News national security correspondent David Martin on Wednesday.

Credit photo courtesy of Yemen’s Al-Joumhouria TV shows the British cargo ship Rubymar sinking after being targeted by Yemeni Houthi forces in international waters in the Red Sea, March 3, 2024.

Photo by Al-Joumhouriah Channel via Getty Images

The British commercial ship Rubymar sank on Saturday morning after taking on water when it was hit by a Houthi missile on February 18. As it was sinking, the anchor likely severed three of the cables that provide international telecommunications and Internet data.

Telecommunications company HGC Global Communications said in a statement last week that the incident “had a significant impact on communications networks in the Middle East”, and that affected traffic was being diverted, while other Red Sea cables were also being used. were intact.

The Houthis have been attacking commercial ships since November to protest the war in Gaza, but the Rubymar is the first ship sunk after an attack.

In addition to posing a danger to underwater cables, the Rubymar also poses an “environmental risk in the Red Sea” due to the 21,000 tons of fertilizer it carried, according to US Central Command.

The The US carried out air strikes almost daily against the Houthis for almost two months to destroy the Houthis’ capabilities, and yet the Houthis have continued their attacks.

A Houthi attack on Wednesday killed at least three members of the crew of the Liberian commercial ship True Confidence, according to defense officials. These are the first fatalities from any of the Houthi attacks since they began picking up the pace in November.

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