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STRANDED SAUDI ARMOUR is seen here, overturned and burning. Videos show long road sections with abandoned pickups (see bottom image) and burning combat vehicles. Many are overturned or stuck in the sand at the roadside, which indicates that panic erupted as the Houthis carried out their extensive ambush against them. It happened after they were first lured out of their bases to attack what they thought was a weaker enemy force. Video clips show how the Saudi-paid soldiers tried to flee in their combat vehicles without stopping to pick up injured or fleeing comrades who were forced to abandon their vehicles. The very few who stopped to take up combat positions were quickly knocked out by the Houthis. Still pictures: Al Masirah

Saudi ground forces destroyed

The Houthi movement, which has been fighting the Saudi-led military intervention of Yemen since 2015, has carried out a large-scale ambush on the border with southern Saudi Arabia, resulting in massive losses to Riyadh and its allies. Thousands of Saudi-led coalition soldiers were killed, injured and captured. It occurred less than two weeks after the Houthis' devastating air attack on September 14 against two very important oil plants in Saudi Arabia, which at stage halved the oil dictatorship's exports. Western media have chosen to ignore or downplay the historical news.

Published: October 16, 2019, 12:12 pm

    At the end of September, the Yemeni Houthi movement conducted a large-scale operation against Saudi-led forces on the border with Narjan province in southern Saudi Arabia. The spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Houthi government, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, compared the operation to that of a large ambush and called it “the largest bait operation” since the outbreak of the war in 2015.

    He told me that it was a coordinated effort by ground, robot and air forces. The latter refers to the Houthis’ drone fleet, which on September 14, in a similarly historic attack, knocked out two very important oil plants in Saudi Arabia, which resulted in the dictatorship losing half its oil exporting capacity.

    HOUTHI WARRIORS in front of a captured Saudi pickup. A couple of them look down at fallen enemies on the ground. The Houthi warriors, who often fight in sandals or flip-flops, are feared by their enemies, with good reason. Part of their success against all odds can be explained by an unwavering belief in God, which means that they do not fear death, and are totally convinced that they have God on their side. The very successful ambush had also been named “Operation Victory from God”. Still image: Al Masirah

     

    The Armed Forces of the Houthi Government, or the Houthi rebels they are often called by their enemies, are formally named Ansar Allah (Followers of God), but after their leader Hussein Badr Eddin al-Houthi had been assassinated in 2004, they began to call themselves the Houthi movement, popularly known as “Houthis”.

    Operation “Victory from God”

    The ground operation at the end of September, which the Yemenis baptised “Victory from God”, was supported by over 20 robotic and drone attacks against the various positions of the Saudi-led forces. According to spokesman Saree, the Houthis already managed to surround several of these observation sites, outposts and bases during the first 24 hours, and took large numbers of prisoners. After three days, the Yemenis had completely surrounded the Saudi forces in the border area.

    – Only 72 hours after the start of the operation, the Houthi forces completed a siege of the enemy, consisting of three military brigades of traitors and a faction of the Saudi military. They were completely defeated, the spokesman said. The “traitors” he referred to are Yemeni paid to fight on the Saudi-led coalition’s side.

    During the fighting, the Houthis defeated at least three Saudi-led brigades, which also suffered very heavy losses. Nearly 500 Saudi soldiers and Saudi-led mercenaries were killed and about 2,000 captured. Hundreds of combat vehicles were destroyed or captured. Free West’s military sources with insight in the Yemeni war report that only a few of these troops were Saudi soldiers, an estimated maximum of one in 40, perhaps only one in 100, and then mostly officers.

    BURNING COMBAT VEHICLES belonging to the Saudi-led coalition are blocking the way. In the foreground a Houthi warrior is seen running towards them. The video material at hand indicates that the tactic was to hit a vehicle on sensitive road sections to force others to slow down as they drove past and then also knock them out until the road was completely blocked. Vehicles behind were thus forced to stop, turn or drive off the road. Even off-road vehicles then ran into the sand where they could easily be fought. In most cases, the Saudi-paid soldiers seem to have given up. Still image: Al Masirah

    Houthi warriors rush cheering toward an immobilized Saudi armored vehicle inside a conquered base. Shotgun damage is seen in the turret’s thick armoured glass. Still image: Al Masirah

    CAPTURED OBSERVATION POINT. Houthi warriors are seen rejoicing after taking a Saudi observatory. They shout that in every video the same banner adorns their flag: “God is greater, death for America, death for Israel, curse on the Jews, victory for Islam”. Behind them is a power line with generator, high mast and satellite dish for communication with the headquarters in Saudi Arabia. Still image: Al Masirah

     

    During the offensive, 350 square miles of territory was conquered as well as very large quantities of weapons and military equipment. Pictures show captured bases with quantities of parked vehicles and the ground covered with weapons from those who surrendered.

    A brigade usually consists of 1 500 – 3 500 men, but can, for example, in Sweden and NATO countries in Europe, consist of up to 6 000 men. It is common for two brigades as well as some smaller units such as an artillery regiment and a handful of battalions to form a division.

    Free West’s military sources did not comment on the accuracy of the figures given, but pointed out that if they were correct, it is possible that three brigades have suffered such severe losses that they have ceased to exist as combat-ready units. This, together with the high losses sustained in a single offensive, is something that is quite uncommon in modern times. Our sources reminded us that in most Western nations, including Sweden, brigades were the largest tactical military formation since divisions had been abandoned.

    ‘Friendly-fire’ bombings

    Brigadier General Saree said that fighter planes from the Saudi-led coalition carried out at least 300 air strikes, most of them seemingly completely arbitrary, in a desperate attempt to stop the Houthis’ offensive. As a result, at least 200 of the Saudi-backed forces were killed by their own fighter aircraft, according to the Houthis spokesman.

    “Our forces tried to provide first aid to enemy personnel who were injured as a result of the air strikes, but the repeated attacks increased their losses,” Brigadier General Saree said.

    The Saudi-led coalition and, interestingly, even the Western media, insofar as they even reported on the battle, tried to downplay the very serious military defeat that Riyadh had suffered. Our sources state that the reason for this was not only that the Western powers were allied to the Saudi royal family and its dictatorship, but also that they massively supported them militarily. Not only do the Western powers sell huge quantities of weapons to Saudi Arabia, which has the world’s third largest military budget, but also provide them with various advisors and not least intelligence information.

    BRIGADIER GENERAL YAHYA SAREE is the spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Houthi Movement. He interestingly told us that prisoners of war would be placed in secret places so that the families of prisoners of war would know that they were protected from Saudi air strikes and would not be harmed. Saudi warplanes have previously deliberately bombed their own prisoners of war, in one of many serious war crimes the dictatorship frequently commits, without protests from the West’s establishment. Still image: Al Masirah

    Inset image: The latest example of Saudi atrocities was the end of August-September when Saudi warplanes bombed a prison in western Yemen. Over a hundred prisoners were killed when they were locked in their cells and bombed no less than six times during the air strike, which was condemned by the UN, among others. Still image: Al-Jazeera

     

    Some information also indicates that various Western special forces are in place and assist in different ways, although officially, to the extent reported, they are there to fight the al-Qaeda terrorist group.

    In reality, the Wahhabist terrorist group is an unofficial ally of Saudi Arabia, which has extreme Wahhabism as a state religion. This became especially evident when regular fighting between the Emirate-controlled and Saudi-controlled forces erupted in late August in, among others, the important port city of Aden in Yemen, where groups linked to al-Qaeda openly fought on the Saudis’ side.

    The Western media runs the dictatorship’s errands

    Initially, most Houthi information was mistrusted, but on September 29, the Houthis’ media branch released dramatic videos from the initial phase of Operation “Victory from God”. At the turn of the month September-October, more and more visual material became available. Interestingly, YouTube has repeatedly taken down many of them with the argument that they violate their terms of use, without specifying in which way.

    These videos and photos from the battle and its results show that Saudi forces actually suffered a devastating defeat in the area. The question is just how big and to what extent the Houthis’ numbers are correct. It may be worth remembering here that the Houthis have been fairly accurate in the past and that, in the historical attack on Saudi infrastructure, they actually indicated lower numbers than the actual ones.

    CAPTURED BY THE HOUTHIS. Some of the thousands of Yemenis whom the Houthis call “traitors” and mercenaries paid by Saudi Arabia are marched off the front line in long columns (out of picture). Among these are also Saudi officers, who are then held separately.

    The Houthis have a policy of providing medical help (see inset picture) and treating prisoners well. This is not primarily done for propaganda purposes, but increases the chances of the opponent giving up without a fight. Those who fight against the Houthis do it mainly for financial compensation; often these are desperately poor Yemenis or foreign mercenaries, so their will to fight is already low. Still pictures: Al Masirah

     

    In early October, the Houthis, in collaboration with the UN and the Red Cross, unconditionally released 350 of the captured enemies, three of whom are reported to be Saudi commanders, in a goodwill gesture. The Western media reported that they had been imprisoned for many years in an attempt to remove focus from the fact that around 2 000 had been captured in the days before.

    The Houthis’ historic victory at the Yemeni-Saudi border therefore became a second massive military setback for Saudi Arabia in September. Nearly five years after the Saudi invasion of Yemen, it is clear that Riyadh has lost the war. This has happened despite a massive military budget and close allies such as the United States, Britain, Israel and many other countries. It is a development few could foresee.

    We wrote a week ago that “some sources could already predict in 2015 the events that we have seen since then, but in the first few years few people could see anything but an easy victory for Riyadh and not least among them those in decision-making circles there. It has long been called a ‘short victorious war’ in Riyadh and those who aroused fears were purged in 2017, the same year that Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) became crown prince under coup-like conditions.

    How could it happen?

    Several local sources claim that one of the main reasons for the total defeat and high losses, both of which are quite uncommon in modern warfare, is that the coalition cracked in August. This has led to serious rifts with the former and most important coalition partner, the United Arab Emirates, which has long been Riyadh’s closest ally, resulting in mutual fighting between the various forces funded by the two Gulf states and the withdrawal of the Emirate-backed forces from the central and northern frontiers. These were the most combat-ready ground units. Saudi Arabia has mostly had to rely on its air force, Yemeni runners and mercenaries from countries such as Sudan and Colombia.

    Free West’s military sources cite another circumstance and refer to a specific statement by spokesman Saree following the widespread and devastating drone and robotic attack in mid-September against Saudi oil infrastructure, which not only halved the dictatorship’s export capacity but also created queues at Saudi gas stations, something completely unknown in the oil nation and with destabilizing potential.

    The statement our sources would like to draw our attention to is when the General then revealed that the historic and almost perfectly executed air attack was made possible by agents on site inside Saudi Arabia.

    “This operation is one of the largest operations carried out by our forces in the depths of Saudi Arabia and came after a thorough intelligence operation and advance surveillance and cooperation between honorable and free men in the kingdom,” Saree said.

    Sleepless palace nights

    According to our sources, the claim of cooperation from people inside Saudi Arabia, which has a large Shi’ite minority in the sensitive oil-rich eastern parts of the country, would make the “Saudi rulers even more paranoid than they already are”.

    There were also rumors that some of the drones were launched from inside Saudi Arabia and that their route was therefore considerably shorter than what the Houthis stated in public. Our sources believed that it was possible, but that it was probably about psychological warfare on the part of the Houthis.

    WORRIED LOOKS in the Saudi headquarters. Here, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (MbS), who has invested much prestige in the Yemen war, is listening to a review by his generals, who, despite massive financial and allied support, completely failed in their mission. The war against Yemen was started by Saudi Crown Prince MbS in 2015, after he was appointed Minister of Defence in January of that year. The war costs Saudi Arabia several billion dollars a month and has led to financial difficulties with occasional wage payments for government employees. The Saudi budget deficit increased again this year and is expected to reach seven percent of GDP. The Crown Prince’s future is therefore considered by many to be linked to the end of the war in Yemen, which may be the reason why Riyadh continues a war they have already lost in practice. Photo: Middle East Eye

     

    The Houthi spokesman warned after the historic air attack of more and more powerful attacks if Riyadh did not interrupt its aggression against their native Yemen.

    “We promise the Saudi regime that our future operations will expand further and be more painful than ever as long as they [Riyadh] continue their aggression and siege.”

    His threat or promise, depending on one’s perspective, was met with rage. The Saudi House is now in a situation where the crown prince, the future ruler of the monarchy who has invested all his prestige in the epic unsuccessful war adventure in Yemen, can no longer hide from the people that the war is not just lost – but that despite all the oil billions, giant arms purchases and powerful allies, he has totally failed.

    Everyone who queues to refuel his or her car, in a country that is almost synonymous with oil riches, is now reminded of this in their everyday lives, while the Shi’ite minority in the east have never had a better opportunity to rise up against what they see as the brutal Wahhabist oppression in Riyadh .

    To that should be added all the rich and powerful, including princes in the large royal family, whom MbS purged and drove out of important positions in 2017 and who have since then only been waiting for revenge. If the paranoia of the leaders in Riyadh was great in the past, which justifies purges and much else, it is now reaching new levels. Historically, such a condition usually leads to escalating misjudgements and signal the beginning of the end for affected rulers.

    christer.ericsson@freewestmedia.com

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