first published on February 22, 2018 by Sean
A semi-bizarre Houthi propaganda video emerges from Yemen showing the rebels overrunning a coalition outpost after a savage close-quarters fight. The OP’s brave coalition defenders don’t abandon their post so easily this time, fighting until a vehicle arrives to extract them and wounding some of their Houthi assailants. With the generally lackluster performance of the assault, it’s surprising the Houthi’s decided you use this video at all.
A tiny outpost at the base of a steep rock escarpment manned by unidentified soldiers (possibly Yemeni Government forces, Saudi’s, or one of the other coalition partners), is assaulted from two directions by a small group of Houthi rebels. Filmed from an elevated location high above the action, the rebels move into their positions and begin blasting the mostly visually obscured outpost.
Moving along the rocks while the other position suppresses, the Houthi’s creep in closer to the small fortification. However, one of the defenders has spotted their approach and is brazenly engaging them at a short distance and pinning them to the rocks. Several large explosions rock the bunker enveloping it in thick smoke and dust. This heavy fire leaves the visible soldier undeterred, boldly returning fire against the Houthi’s. The soldier additionally identifies the cameraman’s position after it misses him with several poorly aimed rounds.
Several minutes seemingly pass, but the defending soldiers are apparently not sitting idly by. A lone and brave soldier suddenly appears, running up the backslope of the escarpment and towards several key fighting positions. Engaged the entire time by the cameraman’s position, he dramatically leaps into a foxhole as its peppered by rounds. This position now puts him in the rocks immediately above the Houthi attackers – who can be seen scrambling to get below the overhang. The video then conveniently jumps to the other supporting fire element, cutting out the fate of the assaulters.
At some point during the attack, the coalition defenders had been smart enough to call for help and lucky enough to receive it. A lone truck appears in the valley behind the outpost driving towards their position and stopping just out of view, about hundred meters behind them. After another surreptitious edit to the video, a high-explosive round impacts ineffectually near the truck just as its pulling away. This edit also cuts out how many of the coalition defenders were able to withdraw wounded or unwounded from the outpost. Oddly, the video does show the Houthi’s evacuating one of their wounded militants after the fight – carried off by several of his comrades on a litter. The video concludes by showing two coalition soldiers who had been left behind, fleeing on foot but unopposed by the Houthi’s.
Though the Houthi’s do eventually take the position and drive off its defenders, this video is a little strange for a propaganda film. Unlike many of their previous clips where the Houthi’s at least try portraying themselves as clever and aggressive attacker’s, this production somewhat diminishes that image. They attack largely uphill against a determined and prepared enemy who thwarts and out maneuvers their advances. Had the Houthi’s wounded or killed any of the defenders then surely, we would have seen those images and there would be fewer edits at such convenient times. Holding their ground until help arrives, the brave defenders subvert catastrophe and only lose points for leaving two of their fellow soldiers behind. Given how these videos typically go, that’s a huge improvement.