On January 2, the Houthis (Ansar Allah) shared a detailed summary of their military operations against the Saudi-led coalition and its proxies in Yemen during 2021.
At a press briefing, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Houthis, said that the group moved towards large-scale operations during 2020 and 2021 which resulted in the “liberation” of large parts of Yemen.
According to the spokesman, the Houthis repelled 223 ground attacks and foiled 166 infiltrations during 2021. Saudi-led coalition warplanes carried out 7,100 airstrikes on Yemen in support of these failed operations.
The group also carried out 194 ground attacks and 382 raids as well as large-scale operations, including Operation Evident Victory, Operation Great Strength, Operation Dawn of Freedom, Operation Dawn of Victory, Operation Spring of Victory and Operation Desert Dawn
As for the Houthis’ small-scale ground operations during 2021:
- Engineer units carried out 5,010 attacks with improvised explosive devices and landmines. 3,375 of the attacks targeted personnel, 1,390 targeted vehicles and 245 targeted posts and fortifications.
- Artillery units carried out 21,925 operations, 283 of which were carried out in cooperation with the drone force. In 2,298 of the operations, Zilzal-1 heavy rockets were used.
- Sniper units carried out 13191 operations.
Brig. Gen. Sari also revealed that the Houthis’ air-defense forces carried out 1,025 operations. As a result, the following drones were shot down:
- Six Chinese-made CASC Rainbow Ch-4;
- 12 US-made Boeing Insitu ScanEagle;
- Two Chinese-made CAIG Wing Loong II;
- A US-made General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper;
- A Turkish-made Vestel Karayel;
- Two US-made AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma;
- 64 small quadcopters of various types.
From its side, the missile force carried out a total of 440 operations. 340 targeted Saudi-backed forces in Yemen, while 100 others were aimed against targets outside of Yemen.
The drone force carried out 4,497 operations, including 4017 reconnaissance and attack operations against targets in Yemen and 480 operations against targets outside of the country.
Brig. Gen. Sari summarized the human and material losses inflicted on the Saudi-led coalition and its proxies as follows:
- 160 service members of the Saudi military were killed, while 234 others were wounded;
- 233 Sudanese mercenaries were killed, while 512 others were wounded;
- 9,892 Saudi-backed Yemeni fighters were killed, while 14,968 others were wounded;
- 1,749 military vehicles, 253 heavy machine guns and 39 ammunition depots were destroyed or damaged.
The Houthis may have exaggerated some numbers in order to boost the morale of their supporters. Nevertheless, there is no denying that the group’s fighters carried out a number of successfully defensive and offensive operations during 2021.
The situation in Yemen will not likely improve this year. The war may go on as Saudi Arabia and its allies don’t appear to be willing to back down.