By ARIE EGOZI
Tel Aviv. Israel in recent days took some steps to be ready for a possible suicide drones attack to be performed by the Houthis rebels in Yemen.
Satellite images released by Newsweek show that suicide UAVs in Yemen.
According to the report in the US magazine, Iran supplied the Yemeni Houthis with the “suicide bomber” Shahad-136, carrying an explosive payload. As per the report, these UAVs have a range of 2200 km that enables them to reach targets in Southern Israel.
In September 2019, two Saudi oil fields were attacked, for which the Ansar al-Yamin militia claimed responsibility. At the same time, Riyadh, Washington and several other governments have accused Iran of being behind the attack. Saudi Arabia claims that among the weapon systems used in these attacks was “Shahad-131,” which was the older model of the UAV “Shahad-136.”
Israel too is continuing its preparations in its north and south for such a possibility. An Israeli submarine was dispatched through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea to guard against a possible attack by Houthi rebels in Yemen on the naval base in Eilat. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) deployed the anti-rocket Iron Dome system in the Eilat area for fear of the Houthis attacking with precision missiles and drones.
According to the US sources, Saudi Arabia and Israel increased pressure on the outgoing Trump administration to declare the Houthi Movement, officially known as Ansar Allah in Yemen, a terrorist organization and impose sanctions on it before Trump’s January 20 departure.
The Houthi rebels are monitoring Israeli activity through their intelligence service, and they now claim that Israel is secretly assisting Saudi Arabia in the war against them in Yemen. They have announced that they have a “bank of targets” in Israel that they can hit.
According to the Jerusalem center for public affairs, the Houthi threat is not just firing long-range missiles and precision drones (with Iranian assistance in the whole weapons production process) at Israel.
As per Israeli intelligence estimates, the Houthis may attempt to strike Israeli ships sailing in the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandab Strait region using naval mines or explosive boats. They have already successfully unleashed these weapons on Saudi targets. In the course of 2020, the international naval coalition destroyed 176 Iranian naval mines deployed in the waters of the Red Sea.
-The writer is an Israel-based freelance journalist