On May 21, the Houthis (Ansar Allah) released never-seen-before footage from the battle of al-Durayhimi district in the western Yemeni province of al-Hudaydah.
The battle of al-Durayhimi, which went on for around two years, saw some of the most violent fighting in the Yemeni war. The battle started when a large, heavily-armed force from the Saudi-led coalition, mainly made up of United Arab Emirates (UAE) forces and their proxies, attempted to push the Houthis out from al-Durayhimi in July 2018.
While the coalition’s force failed to capture the district, it was able to lay a siege around it. The tight siege was broken by the Houthis in November 2020 after a successful counter attack.
The footage released by the Houthis, which are a promo for an upcoming documentary on the battle, reveal how the group was able to deliver supplies to its fighters and civilians in al-Durayhimi despite the Saudi-led coalition’s siege.
In the footage, the Houthis can be seen using improvised rocket-assisted containers, similar in general design to rocket-assisted munitions, to deliver food to the besieged fighters and civilians in in al-Durayhimi.
The Houthis also dropped supplies to the besieged fighters and civilians from drones. The group even used a Mi-171Sh helicopter to deliver supplies to the district. It was not known before that the group is operating helicopters left from the old Yemeni military.
The Houthis ability to resupply their fighters and civilians in al-Durayhimi using these very unique ways contributed to their victory in the battle. A victory that cemented the group’s presence on Yemen’s strategic Red Sea coast.
The new footage highlights the creativity and persistent of the Houthis. Two qualities that made the small, isolated group a regional force to reckon with.
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