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The war in Yemen continues to heat up with no end in sight. The Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis (Ansar Allah) exchanged several blows as of January 20.
The escalation began on January 17 when the Houthis carried out a large-scale missile and drone attack on the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
During the attack, which was codenamed “Operation Yemen’s Hurricane,” the Houthis targeted al-Musaffah oil refinery, Abu Dhabi International Airport and several other targets with a number of Qudes-2 cruise missiles, Samad-3 suicide drones and one Zulfiqar ballistic missile.
The attack, which caused some serious material losses, claimed the lives of three people and wounded six others.
Operation Yemen’s Hurricane was the Houthis’ response to the UAE support to the Saudi-led coalition’s recent ground operations in the central Yemeni provinces of Shabwah and Ma’rib.
The Saudi-led coalition’s response to the attack on the UAE by targeting the Houthi-held Yemen capital, Sanaa, on January 17, 18 and 19.
F-15 fighter jets of the Royal Saudi Air Force and F-16 fighter jets from the UAE Air Force carried out dozens of airstrikes on alleged positions of the Houthis in the city and its outskirts.
The Saudi and UAE airstrikes killed 14 people and wounded 11 others. While most of the casualties were civilians, some were in fact members of the Houthis or key allies of the group including the director of the Aviation and Air Defense Collage, Major General Abdullah Qassem Al-Junaid.
Saudi-led coalition warplanes also carried out dozens of airstrikes on Ma’rib and Shabwah on January 17, 16 and 19.
To take advantage of these airstrikes, coalition proxies, led by the UAE-backed Giants Brigades, made a new push in the district of Ain in Shabwah and the district of Harib in Ma’rib. However, their offensive was repelled by the Houthis on January 19.
According to the Houthis, 50 fighters of the Giants Brigades and their allies were killed or wounded in the failed offensive.
The Houthis also targeted Saudi-led coalition proxies in Ain and Harib with two ballistic missiles. Many fighters were reportedly killed or wounded in the two strikes.
The fighting in Yemen will likely escalate even further in the upcoming few weeks, especially in Ma’rib and Shabwah where the Saudi-led coalition is doing its best to secure a significant achievement. The Houthis may also escalate by launching more missile and drone attacks on both Saudi Arabia and the UAE.