The internet in Yemen has crashed due to “maintenance” following attacks by the Houthi group against Israel and the US.
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Internet service in Yemen was disrupted on Friday for several hours, due to unannounced maintenance. This outage occurred after the Houthi rebels launched attacks on Israel and the United States.
On Friday, an interruption started at YemenNet, the primary provider for approximately 10 million users in Yemen, which is currently operated by the Houthis, a group supported by Iran. This resulted in a complete stop of all network activity.
NetBlocks, an organization that monitors internet disruptions, and the internet service provider CloudFlare both confirmed the outage. However, neither provided an explanation for its cause.
According to CloudFlare, data indicates that the problem has affected network connections on a country-wide scale.
After a few hours, certain services were back up and running, but there were still issues with access.
According to Yemen’s Public Telecom Corp., as reported by the Houthi-controlled SABA state news agency, the outage is due to maintenance.
An unidentified official stated that internet service will resume once the maintenance work is completed.
In January 2022, there was a previous disruption when the Saudi-led coalition engaged in combat with the Houthis in Yemen and bombed a telecommunications facility in the port city of Hodeida. There is currently no report of a comparable attack.
The FALCON cable, located under the sea, brings internet access to Yemen via the Hodeida port on the Red Sea for TeleYemen. Additionally, the cable also has a connection at the Ghaydah port in eastern Yemen, but the majority of the country’s population resides in the western region along the Red Sea.
The cable operator, GCX, did not provide a response to a request for comment on Friday.
A power cut occurred following several recent instances of drone and missile strikes by the Houthis, who were targeting Israel as it carried out airstrikes and a ground offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This included an alleged strike on Thursday on the Israeli city of Eilat on the Red Sea. The Houthis also successfully shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone using a surface-to-air missile this week, adding to a string of attacks in the Middle East that have raised fears of a potential regional conflict.
The start of Yemen’s turmoil dates back to 2014 when the Houthis took control of Sanaa and large portions of the northern region. The government, recognized by the international community, was forced to flee to the south and ultimately seek refuge in Saudi Arabia.
The seizure of power by the Houthis led to the involvement of a Saudi-led coalition several months later. This resulted in the conflict becoming a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the United States providing support to the kingdom in the form of intelligence.
Unfortunately, the U.S. faced international backlash for their involvement in Saudi airstrikes that resulted in civilian casualties, causing them to withdraw their support. It is believed that the U.S. continues to conduct drone strikes aimed at eliminating potential members of Yemen’s al-Qaida faction.
The conflict has resulted in the deaths of over 150,000 individuals, both combatants and non-combatants, and has caused significant suffering for civilians, making it one of the most severe humanitarian crises in the world. While a temporary cease-fire that ended in October was mostly successful, recent reports suggest that the Houthis are gradually increasing their attacks as a lasting resolution has not been achieved.