Written by Akram abu Abs exclusively for SouthFront
Saudi coalition airstrikes continue in the northeastern provinces of Yemen. After losing two Navy vessels, others have sailed to a safer distance. The Houthi alliance is holding its ground and the Saudi coalition is throwing everything they have against Taiz in desperation to break through to Sana’a.
The Houthi alliance has also promised that they will soon start using weapons not yet seen in this conflict. It seems that the extraction of Saudi coalition forces under fire (if it comes to that) maybe even more disastrous than their attempts to penetrate to Sana’a despite the fact that their entry into Yemen seemed relatively easy. Is it time to negotiate?
- October 8, The Houthi alliance have launched a missile attack against a Saudi coalition warship and destroyed it off the coast of Yemen in the Bab al-Mandab Strait after the ship had repeatedly fired rockets on residential areas in the province of Ta’izz, inflicting casualties and destruction. Earlier, a Saudi soldier was killed in a rocket attack on a military base in the Saudi province of Jizan and destroyed a number of armored and military vehicles. A Saudi coalition airstrike struck another wedding ceremony in Yemen’s province of Dhamar, killing at least 23 people and wounding dozens more. Another airstrike in Sa’ada claimed the lives of at least 3 people, including 2 children. In the province of Ma’rib’s Sirwah district near the Kofel military camp, at least 160 Saudi coalition forces were killed and 378 others injured in airstrikes over the Kofel district, Sirwah market as well as Jebel Hilan, where a number of phosphorus bombs were used. ISIS bombings hit the government’s temporary headquarters and military installations in Aden killing more than 15 people raising a fresh challenge for the Saudi coalition.
- October 9, Warplanes from the Saudi coalition raided positions east of the rebel-held capital in the west to regain control of Ma’rib province in a bid to advance on Sanaa. Raids also targeted Hodeida and arms depots on the Nahdain hill south of Sanaa.
- October 10, Houthi alliance army spokesman, Col. Luqman vows that more surprises are awaiting the Saudi coalition aggression. He said: “We have defense systems which they had not experienced,” that we will use in the coming days. He dismissed the “fake victories” announced by the Saudi-led media, saying: “They said they will enter Mar’ib and then will move to Sana’a within 48 hours. Up till now 40 days have passed and they did not control but a town near their camp there
- October 11, The Houthi alliances destroyed a second Saudi warship in a missile attack in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. Tens of Saudi coalition soldiers were killed and several Saudi military vehicles destroyed in retaliatory attacks in the province of Ma’rib. The Houthi fired 40 missiles and artillery shells at the districts of al-Qamar and Sudanah near al-Qarn military base in Jizan leaving several Saudi coalition soldiers dead.
- October 12, Al-Qaeda is thriving in the civil war, and in the besieged city of Taiz, the Islamists are uniting to fight the Houthi alliance. At least 20 prisoners were killed and up to 30 others were wounded when warplanes of the Saudi coalition bombed a prison in the province of al-Bayda which held more than 100 prisoners, controlled by the Houthi alliance.
- October 13, Saudi coalition warplanes launched air strikes in Taiz, including the medical college near the presidential palace and the 35th Brigade headquarters in the old airport. Yemen’s army and popular forces fired rockets and artillery shells at military bases in Saudi Arabia’s Jizan province in retaliation for the kingdom’s aggression against their nation, leaving several Saudi soldiers dead.
- October 14, The leader of Yemen’s Houthis urged all followers on Tuesday to head to war fronts to repel the called invaders, saying: “We cannot sacrifice our dignity and freedom and independence. We will defend our land and our honor.”
No significant tactical progress has been made against the Houthi alliance during the past week. Historical Houthi settlements, in the mountainous terrain, seem beyond the reach of Saudi coalition forces as casualties climb. The destruction of infrastructure and killing of civilians continues unabated with little territorial gains to show for it. The Houthi leadership is calling on Houthis in Yemen and in Saudi Arabia’s southeastern provinces to join the struggle against the ‘invasion’.
International pressure is mounting and with King Salman nursing his dementia in a hospital somewhere, who can predict what the nephews are plotting? Will we see a family coup in the next few days?