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Europe, Asia and Africa without Internet: damaged cables, which account for 17% of traffic

    The Yemeni Houthis are believed to be involved in the destruction of underwater Internet cables, while Russia was always suspected before.

    Yemeni Houthi rebels may be involved in damaging underwater Internet cables in the Red Sea linking Europe to Asia. Previously, the Houthis have already threatened to attack fiber optic cables, through which approximately 17% of the world’s Internet traffic passes, Tech spot reports .

    Four of the 15 submarine cables passing through the Bab al-Mandab strait in the southern Red Sea have been damaged in recent months. In particular, EIG, AAE-1, Seacom and TGN-EA cables were affected. Seacom has confirmed that its cable running between Kenya and Egypt has been severed.

    AAE-1 is considered the most strategically important. Its length is 25 thousand km and connects Southeast Asia with Europe. EIG connects the southern part of Europe, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, UAE, India. TGN-EA is reaching out to India.

    In December 2023, a Telegram channel linked to the Houthis published a map of the cables running along the bottom of the Red Sea. The photo was accompanied by a message with the following content: “There are maps of international cables connecting all regions of the world across the sea. Yemen seems to be in a strategic location, as internet lines connecting continents, not just countries, pass nearby.” .

    The damage caused is estimated to be significant but not critical due to the many other cables in the region. Seacom says it has rerouted traffic from its damaged cable to other cables in the area. However, it will not be easy to repair them. The work could take at least 8 weeks, and the experts who will have to carry it out are at risk, as the Houthis often attack ships in the Red Sea.

    “Submarine data cables have been attacked before, although Russia has usually been the suspect. The European Commission recently warned that cables in the Red Sea need increased security in light of rising global tensions,” the media summarized.