The Yemeni authorities suggest that there are increased security concerns that Houthi rebels in the country. The militants showed increased capability in making drones that can carry explosives long distances.
For Houthi rebels, the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are extremely helping in the fighting against the governmental forces. Meantime, the Iranian proxy forces have created their own drone manufacturing industry, increasing threats to the Gulf region, defence experts and intelligence sources have warned.
The greatest success with drones came after Houthi-made models were used alongside Iranian cruise missiles to attack two oil production facilities belonging to Saudi state oil company Aramco in September last year. The development confirmed Iran’s role in arming the Yemeni militia faction.
Rebels’ new skills are part of Iran’s strategy to use drones and UAV technology to project its power across the region with the ability to use ‘plausible deniability’ as an excuse for attacks. In fact, it is also near impossible to defend the infrastructure against drone attacks.
It is now using the technology, aligned with its development of highly accurate ballistic missiles, to demonstrate to Gulf nations, the US and others that a military attack on Iran would come with significant consequences.
According to the experts from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the Iranian actions are very consistent with its reliance on non-conventional tools that allow it to project power with plausible deniability that does not lead to the threat of direct confrontation.
While, Iran’s brinksmanship could result in a “confrontation without that being the intention”, Houthis get a new bit of kit, they take it apart and see how it works.
As well as equipment, Iran is providing technical advisers and engineer know-how on how to turn drones into deadly attack weapons.
To sum it up, both Iranian and Houthi drones are considered a serious threat for countries like Saudi with critical infrastructure spread across a vast geographical area where one attack could cause serious problems.