Houthis using increasingly sophisticated drone technology in Arabian Peninsula attacks - report

IHS Markit warned that other Iranian-backed militia across the region could soon have the same technology

TOPSHOT - Smoke billows from an Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq about 60km (37 miles) southwest of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia's eastern province on September 14, 2019. Drone attacks sparked fires at two Saudi Aramco oil facilities early today, the interior ministry said, in the latest assault on the state-owned energy giant as it prepares for a much-anticipated stock listing. Yemen's Iran-aligned Huthi rebels claimed the drone attacks, according to the group's Al-Masirah television.
 / AFP / -
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Houthi militia in Yemen have developed sophisticated technology to launch drone attacks inside Saudi Arabia, IHS Markit said on Thursday.

The data firm reported that unmanned aerial vehicles were now the primary long-range weapon used by the Iran-backed rebels.

Of all identified Houthi attacks between January and October last year, IHS Markit said 68 per cent were conducted using drones and 32 per cent with ballistic missiles.

“The Houthis have demonstrated that their UAV technology has greatly improved since the weapons were first introduced to their military arsenal," the company said in a report.

"No other known non-state armed group across the Mena region and beyond has demonstrated the same level of UAV technological sophistication."

IHS Markit said the increasing use of drones in attacks was because of their higher success rate.

It warned that other Iranian-backed militia across the region could soon have the same technology.

“The Houthis' rapid adoption and improvement of this technology, almost certainly with Iranian assistance, is a strong indicator that Iran can transfer similar capabilities to some Shiite militias in Iraq and to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” the report said.