Photo: Canadian Press
This is a location map of Yemen including the capital Sanaa. (AP photo)
Internet access was cut off without explanation early Friday across war-torn Yemen, web monitors said.
The outage began early Friday morning around 0000 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and affected Yemeni Net, which is currently controlled by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
Internet outage tracking group NetBlocks and internet services company CloudFlare both reported the outage. They did not disclose the cause of the power outage.
The Houthis and Yemeni communications authorities did not immediately acknowledge the failure.
The last outage occurred in January 2022. Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthis in Yemen bombs communications building It is located in Hodeidah, a port town in the Red City. There is currently no information regarding similar attacks.
The submarine FALCON cable carries the internet to Yemen via the port of Hodeidah on the Red Sea for Tele-Yemen. The FALCON cable also has a landing point in the port of Ghaida in Yemen’s far east, but most of Yemen’s population lives along the Red Sea coast in the west.
GCX, the company that operates the cable, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
The outage occurred after a series of recent drone and missile attacks. Houthis target Israel Amid airstrikes and ground attacks targeting Hamas in the Gaza Strip. That included Thursday’s attack on the Israeli port city of Eilat on the Red Sea. Meanwhile, the Houthis also shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone this week with a surface-to-air missile, part of a broader series of attacks in the Middle East, raising fears of a regional war.
The conflict in Yemen began in 2014 when the Houthis seized Sanaa and much of the country’s north. The internationally recognized government fled to the south and then into exile in Saudi Arabia.
The Houthi takeover prompted the intervention of the Saudi-led coalition months later, and the conflict turned into a regional proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the United States long involved and providing intelligence to the Saudis.
However, the United States withdrew its aid following international criticism of Saudi airstrikes that killed civilians.But the US is still suspected of carrying out Drone strike targets suspected members of local al-Qaeda branch in Yemen.
The war killed more than 150,000 people, including combatants and civilians, and caused one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters, with tens of thousands more killed. A ceasefire that expired in October last year has largely remained in place since then, but permanent peace has yet to be reached and the Houthis are believed to be gradually stepping up attacks.