There has been a horrendous war going on in Yemen between her and Saudi Arabia since 2004. The war significantly worsened in 2014, and since then thousands of people have died either in conflict or by starvation. Unfortunately, the US has worsened the problem by selling large amounts of weapons to the Saudis, calling it a great deal and a way to create American jobs.
However, the war has not always gone according to the will of the Saudis, remembering that the conflict is largely a proxy war between the US and Russia.
According to recent news, Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Sunday broadcast footage they said was of a major attack on Saudi Arabia in August that killed or wounded 500 soldiers with thousands of others surrendering.
Yahya Saree, a Houthi military spokesman, described an ambush on the Saudi forces that then developed into an “all-out” cross-border offensive that trapped the troops inside Saudi Arabia.
“More than 200 were killed in dozens of [missile and drone] strikes while trying to escape or surrender,” Saree said. (source)
From what information is available, the fighting took place in the southern region of Najran. Video showed a series of military vehicles that were hit by blasts and soldier surrendering to Yemeni forces.
If proven to be true, it would be significant news. However, Saudi Arabia has not yet responded to the Houthi’s claim, and neither was the footage able to be verified.
Saree said the offensive 72 hours earlier had defeated three “enemy military brigades”, leading to the capture of “thousands” of troops, including Saudi army officers and soldiers and their vehicles, which numbered in the hundreds. Video also showed large piles of weapons and ammunition the rebels say they seized alongside bodies and men in Saudi military uniforms who identified themselves as Saudis.
“The video and images coming through are actually affirming the statement. It’s a pivotal point in this war that now Yemeni are moving on Saudi land. It’s quite interesting to see with all the talk of a grand Saudi coalition that Saudi is very much alone in this fight,” Shakdam said.
Local sources have said the Houthis have captured scores of Yemeni troops in the battles, which is being called a “war of attrition” by some due to the fact that as the war has prolonged and become more costly for the Saudis, they have resorted to outright brutality. It is also an embarassment to the US and other nations supporting the Saudis, such as the UK, as it demonstrates a lack of competence to deal with what is a comparatively minor issue in their region even with significant foreign aid.
This comes at a time with increased tensions due to the “attacks”, which still have yet to be investigated thoroughly, that were attributed to the Houthi and Iran on Saudi ARAMCO oil facilities.
The crisis in Saudi Arabia and Yemen and the inability to resolve it could trigger greater conflict in the region, including a potential war at some point with Saudi and Iran, which has the potential to drag Turkey into it.
This is not something that Saudi Arabia wants. She cannot afford such a war, and the only factor seriously preventing a war at the moment are US oil interests. However, this could change in a moment’s notice, as all the US needs to do is to secure another supplier, and she will be comfortable to let Saudi go to her natural fate.
It is in her interest not to weaken her position with respect to the US at all. However, incidents such as these do not bode well for her, for while they have not been “confirmed,” the silence around them suggests the worst has happened and they do not want to discuss it.