Internet collapses in Yemen after recent Houthi attacks targeting Israel and US

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Internet access across the war-torn nation of Yemen collapsed early this morning without explanation, web monitors say.

The outage began early today and affected the YemenNet, which is now controlled by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

Both NetBlocks, a group tracking internet outages, and the internet services company CloudFlare report the outage. Neither offer a cause for the collapse.

The Houthis and Yemen telecommunication officials don’t immediately acknowledge the outage.

A previous outage occurred in January 2022 when the Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthis in Yemen bombed a telecommunications building in the Red City port city of Hodeida. There was no immediate word of a similar attack.

The undersea FALCON cable carries internet into Yemen through the Hodeida port along the Red Sea for TeleYemen. The FALCON cable has another landing in Yemen’s far eastern port of Ghaydah as well, but the majority of Yemen’s population lives in its west along the Red Sea.

GCX, the company that operates the cable, doesn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The outage comes after a series of recent drone and missile attacks by the Houthis targeting Israel amid its campaign of airstrikes and a ground offensive targeting Hamas in the Gaza Strip. That includes a claimed strike Thursday again targeting 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 wide series of attacks in the Mideast raising concerns about a regional war breaking out.

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