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Foreign Policy Diary – Yemen Crisis Update: Dragged-out War

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The Yemen war planned as a blitzkrieg by the Arab coalition has turned into a dragged-out war drawing resources from the coalition and directly Saudi Arabia. Mostly, the intervention has been induced by Saudi Arabias concerns over the strengthening of Iran in the region and will to control a major regional logistical point, the port of Aden.

The coalition Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan and Sudan has created 150,000-strong ground military grouping used for intervention in Yemen. The coalitions air grouping includes over 100 war planes and helicopters.

The interesting fact is Egypt has been actively participates in the Yemeni military campaign on the Saudi Arabias side. On the other hand, Egypt has a neutral position over the Syrian conflict. It clearly shows how tenuous and inconstant Middle East alliances.

The Saudi-led coalition uses modern military equipment and has an advantage in the man power. But the practice shows that it isnt enough. Numerous air raids which target civilians and socially significant facilities dont conduct a support of the Yemeni citizens. Arab media state over 25 000 people mostly civilians have been killed in this conflict.

So, the coalition is involving more and more resources in this intervention. On October 16, a battalion of Sudanese troops arrived in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden. Sudan forces are armed by Chinese armaments and equipment; small arms: rifles Type-51, Type-95, CQ, precision rifles M99, machine guns QJZ-89, automatic grenade launchers QLZ-87 and other military systems as antitank guided missiles Hongjian-8, battle tanks Type-96, MLRS WS-2. Also, Sudan military could use aviation Chengdu J-7, Nanchang Q-5 and Hongdu JL-8. According to reports, Sudan military could send one more battalion to Yemen in the nearest future.

Despite this, its hard to estimate the real military balance of pro-Houthi and anti-Houthi forces. There are lots of ground reports about the coalitions losses on the ground. The coalition forces dont have battle experience.

Houthi forces use skilfully the ground relief, local facilities and a concealment practice to inflict damage to ground and air forces of the Arab coalition. Experts believe that the coalition forces wont be able to act successfully in mountainous area and fight local guerilla. Furthermore, Saudi Arabias expectations that Iran wont support Houthis in Yemen have been a mistake.

At the moment, Saudi Arabia and its allies arent ready to participate in the negotiations aimed on a real way to solve the conflict. So, there are 2 main possibilities: First is ground and air forces of the Arab coalition will cut Houthis from the external support, gain enough battle experience and inflict defeat to the Houthi forces. But its unlikely. Its much more possible that the coalition forces wont be able to defeat decisively Hothis. It will conduct jitters among coalition members. Separately, almost all of them have own disagreed interests in Yemen.

Nonetheless, many major world powers are interested in a normal work of the Adens port because of its logistical importance and a stable situation on the main oil trade maritime routes. So, we could expect that the global players will be more and more involved in the conflict. The local conflicts in the Middle East has been turning to a big regional conflict.

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Syed Umer Saqaf

as far as i know Pakistan refused to be part of this dirty coalition ????


As we know, Pakistan government is in favor of peaceful solution of the crisis and don’t send any troops to join a Saudi-backed coalition.

Mansour Akeel

It’s mentioned that it’s not Iran supporting the houthis. My question is where are they getting their arms from? if they are putting up a fight they must have advanced weaponry.

Mahmoud Larfi

They had access to Yemeni army weapons beforehand.

Mansour Akeel

On another note, I feel as though the coalition sending 150,000 thousand people could backfire harshly. As we know money is merely printed, people cannot be printed.

Mahmoud Larfi

As for Egypt/Saudi Arabia alliance, you must know that Saudis are long date detractors to Muslim Brotherhood and applauded Al-Sissi for his coup on Morsi. They are now heavily financing Egypt military contracts, including the soon to be delivered Rafales. Egypt is traditionally friend to everybody who’s direct interests don’t go against their own.

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