BY CALEB WEISS
| March 11th, 2020
Photo released by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on Mar. 4 showing the new fishing boat design for the Houthi suicide drone boat program.
Over the last few weeks, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have increased their usage of explosive-laden drone boats. The geographic scope of this threat has also expanded as the Houthis have recently exported the tactic to the Arabian Sea.
Out of the four drone boats that approached the oil tanker, only one reportedly contained explosives. By utilizing a pack of these drones disguised as fishing boats, this makes it harder for ships to detect a threat.
Moreover, hiding the explosives in just one drone may make it harder to determine which boat poses the most danger.
This is not the first time the Saudis have reported airstrikes on Houthi boats in the town. Last June, the coalition reported it destroyed 9 suicide drone boats
in the waters off of as-Salif. Saudi officials commented that the boats “intended to target international shipping.”
Houthi naval mines
Despite being a lesser focus of the Houthi military apparatus, and underreported in the media, naval attacks conducted by the insurgent movement
constitute a real threat to shipping in the southern Red Sea and now potentially the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Caleb Weiss is a contributor to FDD's Long War Journal.
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