15.03.2021 Author: Viktor Mikhin

Yemen in its Fight against Saudi Aggressors


The Spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree said the forces targeted the Saudi soil with 15 UAVs and a ballistic missile on the last day of February. In a press conference, Saree provided details about the Yemeni Armed Forces’ attack on Saudi soil – “Fifth Operation of Balanced Deterrence”:  “Sensitive positions and places in Riyadh, the capital of the enemy, were targeted with a ballistic missile of the type “Zulfiqar” and nine “Samad-3” UAVs. Six Qasef K2 UAVs also targeted military positions in the Abha [capital city of Aseer Province near the Red Sea in southwest Saudi Arabia] and Khamis Mushait areas [a city in south-west Saudi Arabia, located east of Abha]”. “As long as the attacks and siege on our country [Yemen] continue, our operations will continue and will be more extensive,” he added. Along with that, Saree called on the people of Saudi Arabia to stay away from all military positions and places and airports.

The fact that Yemeni forces were able to successfully launch a fifth operation against Saudi Arabia itself, while fighting Saudi-backed forces inside Yemen at the same time, is in itself eloquent testimony to the gradual power shift taking place within the country. The government in Sanaa, which was bombed from the very beginning by Saudi Arabia, not only survived, but has also managed to become powerful enough to fight on various fronts.

The first Yemeni operation targeting the oil-rich country began in the middle of August 2019, when ten unmanned aerial vehicles were sent to the Shaybah Oil Field in eastern Saudi Arabia.  In mid-September 2019, the Yemeni Air Force launched one of its most consequential operations against the Saudis, targeting the refineries in the eastern areas of Abqaiq and Khurais, shutting down half the country’s oil production – nearly five percent of the world’s oil supply – for several days.

Five months later, Yemeni forces launched another operation in which they attacked Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Yanbu with 12 unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as three medium- and long-range missiles. In June last year, Yemeni forces launched their fourth operation, during which a large number of ballistic and cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles, inflicted damage on Riyadh.

“The fifth operation carried a long-term strategic message at the regional level, especially with the ongoing battles between the Yemeni army and the coalition forces in Marib”, according to Al-Masirah TV. Citing observers, the channel network said the operation proves once again the increase in Yemeni military capabilities and the failure of Saudi Arabia at the tactical and strategic level despite the capabilities it possesses.

Along with that, Yemeni government forces began a liberation campaign to capture the strategic province of Marib, and by doing so began a new operation against Saudi Arabia. This fact constitutes fairly clear evidence of the growing potential of the Saana government, despite the Saudi-led war in the country.

The Saudis went to war with Yemen in 2015 in the hopes of eradicating Yemen’s Ansar Allah movement, which they accused of supporting Iran. But after more than five years of continuous aggression, the Saudis have not only failed to defeat Ansar Allah, but have helped the movement grow even stronger by persisting with their unwarranted aggression. This fact, according to political observers, fully came to light in February, when forces led by Ansar Allah launched successful, stand-alone operations against Saudi Arabia and the groups allied with it.

Observers stressed that the Saudi regime may pay a lot for the consequences of not responding to it, in the event that the Yemeni forces are forced to carry out a Sixth Operation of Balanced Deterrence. Marib has become a battleground that would determine the fate of the Yemen war. Over the past few days, the Sanaa-based government forces have increased their military activities in a bid to liberate Marib from the Saudi-backed forces who appeared to endure a series of defeats on various fronts. A military source close to the Saudi-backed forces told the AFP news agency that more than 20 members of the Saudi-backed forces were killed in the last 24 hours in the fighting. Marib is the last bastion of the Saudi-baked forces in northern Yemen, and the fall of that would dramatically change the balance of power.

In an attempt to prevent Marib city from falling in the hands of the Yemen forces, Saudi Arabia has launched an air campaign against the Yemeni forces in a number of provinces. However, Saudi Arabia failed to stop the march of the Sanaa forces toward Marib. This debacle is the latest in a series of failures that Saudi Arabia has faced in Yemen in recent weeks despite enjoying overwhelming international support, including from the United States Of course, the US has most recently sought to distance itself from the Saudi fiasco in Yemen by taking a series of measures that seemingly restrict American support for the Saudi war on Yemen. But vast quantities of modern American weapons and ammunition still continue to flow into the kingdom, which the Saudis then use in Yemen, killing chiefly civilians.

The coalition led by Saudi Arabia has faced widespread international criticism for its airstrikes in Yemen, which have killed thousands of civilians and destroyed non-military targets, including schools, hospitals, and wedding parties. Military experts note that Yemen, which does not even have any rudimentary air defense systems, is exactly where Saudi pilots are practicing their bombing maneuvers. The fact that this means the civilian population is suffering is something about which the West, and above all the United States – in a position to stop these barbaric actions – does not care at all. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud ordered a total of 189 officers and military personnel to be awarded a medal for their “achievements in the military operation against Yemen”. By doing that, the king is trying to somehow raise the morale of his frustrated fighters, granting various privileges to Saudi troops participating in the Yemeni war.

Concerning the problem in Yemen, the ostrich-like behavior and demagogic position taken by the new US administration are astounding. “This war has to end,” President Joe Biden said hypocritically in a recent speech at the US State Department, but he also emphasized the US commitment to ensuring Saudi Arabia’s security and territorial integrity, which someone is supposedly threatening. At the same time, Biden highlighted the alleged end of any American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arm sales. It is true that the US President for some reason forgot to remind everyone that Saudi warehouses in the desert contain huge stockpiles of weapons that were generously delivered by Washington before. But even these measures, incidentally, were taken only after the new administration took office and had a clear understanding that the Saudi war in Yemen is doomed to failure, and therefore, American support for this war will not make any difference in how it turns out – except for the disgusting reputation of being complicit in the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.

In this regard, it is impossible not to agree with the opinion given by one member of the Yemeni Supreme Political Council, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi who indicated the unchecked sales of weapons by the West to aggressor countries and wrote: “By buying weapons and letting aggressor countries reap profits from the sales, and using them to kill the Yemeni people, they cannot prevent the starvation that they themselves have created”. Ansar Allah spokesman Mohammad Abdul Salam blamed Saudi Arabia and other aggressor countries for all the calamities in Yemen, adding that a UN request made to donor countries for help would not deprive the aggressor countries of their liability. He sarcastically wrote about the assistance aggressors are giving to Yemen: “The best services that the Saudi-led coalition provides to Yemen are nothing but daily airstrikes, brutal siege, the blockade of oil products and the closure of Sana’a International Airport, and the human consequences thereof.”

Incidentally, the commentary made by Abdul Salam was conveyed several hours after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underscored that it has been evident for many years that no military solution exists in Yemen. “Aggression against the Yemenis is genocide, and must be stopped”. That is all very true. The only thing is for these specific, truthful words spoken by the secretary-general to come true.

Viktor Mikhin, corresponding member of RANS, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.