Submarine internet cables damaged in the Red Sea; The Houthis denied responsibility

Our Red Sea submarine cables provided the internet and international communications are cuton the sea route that continues to be targeted by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, the police said on Monday (4).

What cut the line remains unclear. Officials are concerned the power lines are a target in the Houthis’ campaign, which the rebels describe as an effort for Israel to end the war against the Hamas group. terrorists in the Gaza Strip. However, the Houthis refused to attack the line.

While the world’s supply chain has been disrupted in the Red Sea, the main route for transportation and energy from Asia and the Middle East to Europe, The destruction of the communication lines can lead to months of chaos.

Companies that sell redirected traffic

The cut lines include Asia-Africa-Europe 1, Europe India Gateway, Seacom and TGN-Gulf, Hong Kong-based HGC Global Communications said. The company said that this cut affected 25% of traffic through the Red Sea and described the route as important for sending data from Asia to Europe. The company also announced that it has started redirecting traffic.

HGC Global Communications has described the Seacom-TGN-Gulf line as two separate lines, when in fact it is a single regional cable cut, as explained by Tim Stronge, engineer submarine cable specialist at TeleGeography, a telecommunications industry research firm in Washington. .

Responding to questions from the Associated Press, Seacom said “first tests show that the affected section is in Yemen’s territorial waters in the southern Red Sea.” The company announced that it is replacing the traffic that it has managed to update, although some services are down.

Tata Communications, part of the Indian conglomerate and responsible for the Seacom-TGN-Gulf line, told the AP that it “immediately started and appropriate remedial measures” after the line was cut. “We have invested in multiple cable agencies to diversify our network and therefore in the event of a cable cut or snag, we are able to replace our services,” Tata said. .

Another company behind the line, which provides data for Africa, Asia and the Middle East, did not immediately respond to questions from The Associated Press on Monday.

Houthis blame the US and the UK

In early February, Yemen’s internationally recognized government in exile accused the Houthis of planning to attack the cables. The line appeared to have been cut on February 24, with the organization NetBlocks investigating the impact on internet access in the East African country of Djibouti two days later. Seacom helps Djibouti. Likewise, there is an impact in Bahrain, a country in the Persian Gulf that is also served by the line.

But for their part, the Houthis refused to target the cables. The rebels alleged that there was an influence on the British and American military, but there was no evidence to support the accusation and the accusation was false in the past.

“The conflict in Yemen by the British and American military forces has led to disruptions in submarine cables in the Red Sea, which has jeopardized the security of international communications and traditional materials are at risk,” the US-led Ministry of Transport said. Houthis, from the city of Sanaa,

How are the power lines cut?

It is not yet clear how the attackers were able to attack the submarine’s power lines. The Houthis are not known to have the ability to dive or rescue to reach the lines, which are hundreds of meters below the waterway.

However, submarine cables can be cut from anchors, including those dropped by some disabled ships in an attack. A ship traveling with its anchor across the sea could be the culprit.

Seacom said “Our team found that it could be affected by the transport of the transport, given the maritime transport in the affected area and the low sea level in many part of the Red Sea,” Seacom said. “This can be confirmed only when the repair ship is on site.”

There are currently 14 cables across the Red Sea, with more planned, said Stronge, an expert on submarine cables.

“We estimate that more than 90% of communication between Europe and Asia goes through submarine cables in the Red Sea,” he said. “Fortunately, the telecommunications workers have created a loop in the system – there are many cables that cross the Red Sea.” Source: Associated Press.

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