By Gilbert Doctorow
During my interview yesterday morning with WION, India’s premier English-language global news service, I was given the opportunity to expand upon the latest development in the southern sector of the Red Sea, namely the seizure by a Houthi (Yemen) attack force of a merchant vessel partly owned by Israelis. As I commented, Russian news tells us that the capabilities of Yemen to create havoc with global shipping through the Suez Canal and Red Sea are vastly underappreciated and underreported at present. Despite its figuring in world news these past several years for a murderous civil war fed by the Saudis, and besides its being considered the poorest nation among the Arab countries of the Middle East, Yemen has a 30 million population and, according to Russia, a very strong arsenal of ship-sinking missiles with 2,000 km range that they themselves manufacture. If there is no other lever to stop the Israeli rampage, it is certainly credible that the Yemenis will attack global shipping routes.
In short, war today is not what it used to be just a couple of decades ago. Hamas, with a military budget of perhaps 80 million euros annually and Hezbollah with a budget just several times greater can pose a grave threat to Israeli armor with improvised drones dropping mines on tanks and personnel carriers and to its civil infrastructure using their missiles. Now Yemen enters the fray with a capability of disrupting global logistics.