The Yemeni Ansar Allah group (Houthis) has significantly increased the intensity of its attacks on Saudi Arabia since the beginning of this year, according to the American Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
The Center reached this conclusion in a paper titled Iran and the Houthis’ War on Saudi Arabia, which was released Tuesday.
The Houthis, according to the report, are escalating an irregular military campaign against Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, employing winged and ballistic missiles, advanced drones, and other military means noting that the average number of monthly attacks on the dominion and other targets increased more than twice during the first nine months. The number of attacks each month will rise from 38 to 78 in 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.
The research particularly said that the Houthis target oil tankers and other naval targets, emphasizing that the organization carried out at least 24 such attacks or attempted assaults using drones between January 2016 and June 2021, the bulk of which occurred near Yemeni ports.
Iran and its proxies support to Houthis
According to the report, the Iranian Quds Force was in charge of training the Houthis and providing them with a growing arsenal of modern military hardware and technology, including anti-tank missiles, naval mines, booby-trapped drones, and drones.
According to the assessment, the Quds Force and the Lebanese Hezbollah were effective in increasing the capabilities of the Yemeni Houthis at a low cost, especially when compared to the extent of Saudi spending on air defences to safeguard its land.
According to the CSIS research, drone attacks and the deployment of regional armed organizations are methods employed by Iran to enhance its influence in the area without engaging in direct combat with its opponents.
The report also warned that Iran and hacker groups linked to it pose a threat to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, citing a US intelligence assessment that Tehran is capable of carrying out cyber-attacks on sensitive infrastructure facilities, as well as engaging in espionage and influence operations in the cyber field.
According to the paper, the US and its partners should launch a public campaign to emphasize Iran’s and the Houthis’ actions, as well as give extra security support to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf governments.