first published on July 18, 2017 by Sean
Savage back to back ATGM hits on Saudi military vehicles results in multiple casualties – A grim highlight of the brutal war still raging in Yemen.
An unarmored pickup truck loaded with Saudi troops approaches a small outpost in a seemingly remote area. After dropping off a few passengers, it picks up a few more and heads back down the only visible road. Just a few hundred meters from the outpost, the thin-skinned vehicle inexplicably halts on the road and immediately becomes an enticing target. The Houthi rebels hidden in an elevated position quickly engage with an ATGM. The missile hits the middle of the truck, viciously exploding between the troops in the cab, and the two visible in the rear. A passenger is ejected from the cab and can be seen trying to crawl away for a few moments, before disappearing in a convenient video edit. The soldiers in the bed of the truck appear to have a split second to react before the missiles impact. However, other than a few seconds of movement post explosion, they both go still and are either knocked unconscious or are KIA.
Eventually, an armored vehicle comes into view laying suppression with a .50 Cal and pushing past the smoldering pickup towards the outpost. It passes back and forth, and in and out view several times before finally making a fatal mistake. It stops in the same kill zone, apparently attempting to load survivors. At this point, the Houthis have had ample time to reload their weapon system and quickly fire at the vehicle and congregated soldiers. The missile strikes the front of the vehicle resulting in a large explosion. Fortunately, the soldiers are at the rear of the vehicle and several can be spotted darting away in the dust cloud.
The situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate with war, starvation, and cholera ravaging the entire nation. The conflict has developed into a proxy contest between regional powers; with the Iranians arming the Shia Houthis, and the Saudis leading a Sunni coalition. The Saudis have the unfavorable task of occupying the rugged and mountainous regions to the northwest of the country. The terrain largely favors the defenders who are armed with advanced Iranian weapons. With these weapons, this terrain, and the longstanding rivalries between the Saudiss and the Iranians unlikely to subside anytime soon, Yemen is likely to remain one of the most dangerous nations on Earth.