JIZAN, SAUDI ARABIA — The media branch of Yemen’s Ansar Allah military released footages on Friday showing the moment that strategic Saudi military locations were captured in the eastern al-Doud mountains and al-Reqa’h military bases deep inside of Saudi Arabia. The bases are located in the southwestern region of Jizan, some 900 kilometers (559 miles) south of the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Saudi Arabia has not yet commented on the recent attacks.
Yemen’s army launched two ballistic missiles at a gathering of Saudi military forces, including mercenaries, just east of al-Doud. A group of Saudi-allied mercenaries south of al-Khobeh in Jizan was also targeted. Later in the day, Yemen’s army struck a Saudi military base in the kingdom’s Jizan region with two ballistic missiles, killing a number of Saudi soldiers, according to two military sources in Yemen’s army.
In Saudi Arabia’s southwestern region of Asir, Yemen’s military also fired a short-range ballistic missile at a Saudi military base. The missile reportedly struck its target, according to a Yemen military source’s statement to MintPress. The source went on to say the missile attack killed an unspecified number of Saudi mercenaries and inflicted damage to the base and its equipment. MintPress has not been able to independently verify the claim.
Earlier this week, Yemeni forces seized military sites inside of Saudi territory as part of a recent offensive against the kingdom and its coalition allies in retaliation for the U.S.-backed coalition’s ongoing military assault against Yemen’s port city of Hodeida, a lifeline for the majority of Yemen’s population. The coalition’s offensive has sparked a humanitarian crisis in the region, spurring human-rights groups and the United Nations to call for an end to hostilities. The coalition recently stepped up attacks on Hodeida’s al-Dreihimi district, the scene of massive clashes between Saudi-allied mercenaries and Yemen’s resistance.
Watch | Footage of the Ansar Allah (Houthi) attack on the al-Reqa’h military base in Saudi Arabia
A source inside of Yemen’s military, who wished to remain anonymous, told MintPress that the Yemeni army, loyal to Ansar Allah (Houthis), has changed its approach from hit-and-run attack, in which troops would target a military outpost or base and quickly withdraw, to a strategy in which Yemeni military forces would seize control of and retain Saudi military sites. The source went on to reveal that the army plans to launch military operations in a bid to control more Saudi military sites in the Saudi regions of Jizan, Asir, and Najran, as long as the coalition continues its military campaign against Hodeida.
Although Saudi Arabia is equipped with the latest U.S.-supplied weaponry — everything from M1A2 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley fighting vehicles to AH-64D Apache helicopters, as well as having an air force equipped with a high-tech arsenal — footage of the attacks shows Saudi troops and mercenaries fleeing their posts upon confrontation, leaving behind weapons caches including American-made armored vehicles, Kalashnikovs, and sniper rifles.
Not much bang for the Saudi buck
Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s largest military budgets but, despite access to advanced equipment, Saudi troops have been unable to repel regular attacks on Saudi territory by Ansar Allah. The kingdom has resorted to employing mercenaries from Yemen and as far away as Sudan in an effort to shore up its ground forces.
Yemen’s military has demonstrated increasing success in seizing Saudi military sites in the three Saudi regions bordering Yemen, including Jizan, Asir, and Najran. Ansar Allah, known colloquially as the Houthis, comprise a major component of Yemen’s military and show no sign of surrender. Despite a massive coalition bombing campaign supported by the United States, the Houthis still control important cities inside of Yemen, including Sana’a, Hodeida, and most other major cities. They have also been able to thwart Saudi efforts to occupy their cities.
Yemeni forces, which focused primarily on defending against the Saudi coalition incursion since it began in 2015, have recently increased offensive attacks against coalition forces, making it clear in statements that the attacks will continue until coalition withdraws from Yemen.
In addition to the attacks on military sites inside of Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s military recently revealed its domestically-manufactured marine mines, dubbed the “Mersad.” The military says the mines will be deployed against Saudi coalition battleships and watercraft in the Red Sea surrounding Yemen.
Ansar Allah’s media branch also released new footage of Yemeni forces targeting an HSV-2 Swift hybrid catamaran operated by the United Arab Emirates. The vessel was hit off the shores of Mukha, Yemen on October 1, 2016.
Top Photo | Saudi soldiers stand atop Mt. Doud, a high strategic position recently taken by Ansar Allah in the southern Saudi province of Jizan, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2010. Hassan Ammar | AP
Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.