The Role of Russia in Threatening U.S. Marines in Middle East

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-07-04 11:59 PM UTC


The Red Sea battle between the U.S. forces and Yemen's Ansar Allah (Houthi) group has presented a critical opportunity for Russia to pose a new threat to its Western opponents. 


Since November last year, the U.S. has been engaged in challenging combat against the Houthi group, which has fired hundreds of missiles and drones targeting commercial vessels and warships affiliated with the U.S. and other countries, particularly the U.K. and Israel. 


American officials have said U.S. confrontation with the Houthis "has turned into the most intense running sea battle the Navy has faced since World War II".


The Russian role has made this war a costly one for the U.S. Reports have exposed the Russian military support for Yemen's Houthis, and such support has played a crucial role in the intensity of the attacks against the American forces over the past seven months. 


The reports indicate that the Houthis are believed to possess Russian-made P-800 Oniks supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles acquired via Syria and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia.


In March this year, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency revealed that the group has begun producing its own hypersonic missile.


At the time, a Houthi military source told the Russian news agency, "The group's missile forces have successfully tested a missile that is capable of reaching speeds of up to Mach 8 and runs on solid fuel." 


When such news was announced, doubts surrounded the claim of producing hypersonic missiles. However, last month, the Houthi group declared for the first the firing of a hypersonic missile toward a target in the Arabian Sea. The group's military forces said on June 26, 2024, that a hypersonic missile named Hatem 2 targeted an "Israeli ship" in the Arabian Sea, indicating this weapon is being revealed for the first time.

Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a statement that the missile is "a locally made hypersonic one" with advanced technology and is accurate in hitting targets at long ranges.

While the group says such a missile is produced in Yemen, reports have revealed that the Houthis obtained 300 Russian-made naval missiles in January this year. The sources did not specify how such missiles arrived, whether directly from their Russian exporter or through smuggling with support from Iran.

An investigation by the Sheba Intelligence revealed that only Russia, China, and North Korea have hypersonic missiles.


In the same vein, a senior U.S. official said earlier this week there are indications that Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering supplying the Yemeni Houthi movement with anti-ship ballistic cruise missiles, reports have said.


The Houthi-U.S. faceoff in the Middle East territorial waters is bound to continue as the Israel war on Gaza remains unsettled. The Houthis say their operations in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea will not stop as long as Israel keeps committing genocides in Gaza. The Israeli war on Gaza began in October last year, and the Houthi naval operations started in November.


Early last month, Russian President Putin warned that Moscow could arm countries to attack Western targets. He made the statement while criticizing the West's delivery of long-range weapons to Ukraine.

Putin added, "If someone thinks it is possible to supply such weapons to a war zone to attack our territory and create problems for us, why don't we have the right to supply weapons of the same class to regions of the world where there will be strikes on sensitive facilities of those countries?"