A Houthi follower holds a rocket launcher as others carry a cutout banner, portraying the Galaxy Leader cargo ship which was seized by Al Houthis, during a parade as part of a 'popular army' mobilization campaign by the movement, in Sana'a. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: Internet connectivity across most GCC states has experienced significant slowdown, reportedly due to sabotage activities targeting undersea fiber cables in the Red Sea.

Security sources have attributed these attacks to the Houthi militant group, which has been actively disrupting communication lines off the coast of Yemen, linking the Arabian Peninsula to Africa.

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Sky News Arabia quoted sources as saying that the Houthis are responsible for the destruction of communication lines under the Red Sea.

This has led to a considerable interruption in the flow of data between Africa and Europe, affecting a vital cable system operated by the international telecommunications firm SECOM.

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The company has confirmed a malfunction in its Red Sea infrastructure, particularly highlighting that a portion of its cable system ceased to operate due to the incident.

The damage involves four submarine communication cables, with estimates suggesting that repairs could extend up to two months.

Although the initial assessment indicated substantial but not critical damage, the incident is expected to disrupt communications significantly between Europe and Asia.

SECOM has acknowledged the disruption but has yet to specify the cause publicly.

Amid these developments, the Houthis have escalated its maritime aggression, launching explosive-laden missiles and drones at commercial vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November 19 in response to Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip.

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The Houthis have also issued warnings to maritime authorities and insurers, declaring a ban on vessels associated with Israel, the United States, and Britain from navigating near the conflicted area.

Meanwhile, US Central Command said its forces destroyed three seaborne drones, an airborne drone and two cruise missiles in Yemen that were being prepared for attacks in the Red Sea.

The strikes on Monday marked the latest effort to avert further assaults on commercial shipping in the vital waterway by the Houthis, an Iran-backed militant group that controls much of the northwest of Yemen.

The drones and antiship missiles “presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and the US Navy ships in the region,” Centcom said in a statement posted on the X social media platform.

Earlier Monday, a South African company said a subsea cable that it controls off the coast of Yemen had been damaged, although the cause has yet to be determined. The cable connects Europe and India.

The Houthis have made threats on social media to sabotage critical undersea cables, but there’s no evidence to suggest that they have been successful.

The Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, which began in response to Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip, have continued despite a series of airstrikes by the US and UK.