Armed but impotent; Riyadh faces military defeat in Yemen

Alwaght- Despite being armed to the teeth, the Saudi-led coalition has thus far failed to accomplish the objectives Riyadh had set out at the beginning of the 11-months war: undermining the Houthi Ansarullah movement and the reinstalling the former regime—which acquiesced to Saudi demands under resigned President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi—to power.

Recent field developments show that the Saudi forces and their allies have lost the upper hand in the war since the Ansarullah movement took over the capital Sana’a. The ensuing fighting has been the after-effect of that strategically significant event.Just on Monday, the number of Saudi soldiers captured by Yemeni fighters in the west-central Ma’rib province in just two days reached 101.

The Yemeni army, backed by Popular Committees loyal to the Houthi Ansarullah movement, detained 71 soldiers early on Monday and 30 others on Sunday in the same area.

Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah news website reported the operations saying that the captured soldiers were on their way to Ma’rib to boost Saudi presence when they were caught.

The report also mentioned that Yemeni forces killed dozens of troops loyal to the Saudi regime in the city and destroyed four of their military vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-controlled Sahn al-Jin military base was showered with missiles and witnessed the killing of dozens more.

Air Strikes

While Yemenis continue to carry out retaliatory attacks, Saudi warplanes linger in the Yemeni sky.

The Saudi-led alliance attempts to balance its failure on the ground with brutal airstrikes. Several airstrikes hit the western Sana’a province including two on the Arhab district and another two against Hafa and Nahdain in al-Sabeen. The raids inflicted damages on several buildings.

Saudi fighter jets also raided the south-western city of Ta’iiz four times causing destruction in the area.

The aerial aggression additionally struck the town of Herz in the north-western province of Hajjah.


Meanwhile, in the southern city of Aden bloody clashes broke out between militants from the so-called Popular Southern Resistance group and soldiers guarding the Maashiq presidential palace.

At least six guards were killed in the skirmishes and many others wounded after the militia group was blocked from entering the palace over unpaid medical bills for injured members.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia launched a war of aggression against Yemen. However, aside from weapons and equipment, Riyadh has little military prowess, specifically manpower which determines a military’s strength in conventional warfare, and thus involved other countries to join the battle. Mostly relying on airstrikes against civilian-populated areas, the Saudi-led coalition has done little to advance on the ground where it has been met with resistance.

Since then, at least 8,300 people, among them 2,236 children, have been killed but in spite of the high casualty rate, the massive destruction, and the straining of resources, Yemenis continue to face their aggressors with resilience.

By Alwaght