Houthis hijack ship in the Red Sea
Houthis hijack ship in the Red SeaScreenshot

The Telegraph newspaper reported on Wednesday that the Yemeni Houthi rebels, who have fired missiles at ships in the Red Sea, trained at an elite Iranian naval academy.

According to the report, some 200 mercenaries were sent to the leading naval institution in Iran to receive instruction from Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials.

The group of 200 travelled to the Khameini Academy of Naval Sciences and Technology in Ziba Kenar on the Caspian coastline, sources inside Iran told The Telegraph.

A section is dedicated to the six-month training course for foreign mercenaries under the command of the IRGC’s Quds Force, including the Houthis.

The academy was established in 2013 and within four years, all IRGC naval training, including that of Iran’s proxies, was transferred there, according to the report. The first course for Houthis in naval science and technology was launched in January 2020, and the Houthis were housed separately from other students, who were barred from interacting with them in order to prevent intelligence leaks.

Sources in Iran also said that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has taken a personal role in the Houthis’ Red Sea blockade, supporting the further provision of weapons and equipment to the rebels.

The Houthis have upped their attacks in the region since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Yahya Sare'e, the military spokesman for the Houthi terrorist organization, claimed last week that the group attacked a ship that refused the Houthis' orders to stop and was on its way to Israel.

Days earlier, it was revealed that US helicopters sank three Houthi boats in the Red Sea. According to US Central Command (CENTCOM), the container ship Maersk Hangzhou issued a second distress call in less than 24 hours reporting being under attack by four Iranian-backed Houthi small boats.

On Tuesday, the US and British armies shot down 21 drones and missiles fired by the Houthis towards the Red Sea, in what was one of the biggest attacks by the group to date.

22 nations recently agreed to participate in a US-led coalition to safeguard commercial traffic in the Red Sea from Houthi attacks.

Last week, a group of 13 countries, led by the United States, warned the Houthi rebels of unspecified consequences unless they halt their attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea.