first published on July 16, 2018 by Sean
Houthi rebels purportedly step up cross border raids into Saudi Arabia – releasing videos of attacks on vulnerable Saudi positions and likely attempting to draw resources away from a new Saudi-led coalition offensive in the nearby province of Hajjah.
Pro-government forces in Yemen, and the supporting Saudi-led coalition have launched a new offensive in the northwestern province of Hajjah, pounding Houthi defenses with artillery and airstrikes ahead of advancing ground forces. The operation comes amidst continual fighting in the mountains near the country’s capital of Sana’a, and during a brief respite in the fighting for the crucial port city of Hodeidah; after a recent UN attempt to end the fighting in the city failed, hostilities are soon expected to resume.
With the coalition pressing these multiple fronts, the Iranian backed Houthi’s are subject to a severely limiting naval blockade targeting their resupply and additionally are quite vulnerable to coalition airpower. Attempting to offset these shortfalls, the rebels appear to have to reverted to guerilla tactics and are launching disruptive cross border raids into the neighboring Saudi province of Jazan; and against coalition supply-lines south of Hodeidah. Likely gambling that the Saudi’s will draw military material away from one of the other major operations to defend their homeland, the deadly attacks are likely to continue as Houthi territory is increasingly isolated and slowly eroded by the coalitions offensive operations.