Internet connectivity knocked out in Yemen after airstrike

Network data from NetBlocks confirm a nation-scale collapse of internet connectivity in Yemen on Friday 21 January 2022 from around 1 a.m. local time. The incident came amid reports of an airstrike on a telecom hub in the port city of Al Hudaydah and continued until early Tuesday morning, with a recorded incident duration of four days.

Real-time metrics show the loss of connectivity on leading network YemenNet (AS30873) on early Friday morning. It is not known if telecommunication infrastructure was specifically targeted, although visual investigations suggest this may be the case. The resulting information blackout is likely to limit coverage of events on the ground.

Visual reports appeared to corroborate initial reports of a strike. Al Hudaydah is the main landing point for internet connectivity in Yemen, hosting the undersea FALCON and SEA-ME-WE 5 cables that route via the Red Sea.

Work is ongoing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the network disruption.

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Methodology

NetBlocks diffscans, which map the IP address space of a country in real time, show internet connectivity levels and corresponding outages. Purposeful internet outages may have a distinct network pattern used by NetBlocks to determine and attribute the root cause of an outage, a process known as attribution which follows detection and classification stages.


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