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Yemen’s Houthis Strike Back Amid Saudi-led Bombardment of Hodeida

Yemen’s Houthis Strike Back Amid Saudi-led Bombardment of Hodeida

Yemen’s Houthis Strike Back Amid Saudi-led Bombardment of Hodeida
June 15
19:42 2018

HODEIDA, YEMEN — Human rights organizations say the ongoing Saudi-led coalition attack on Hodeida threatens to cut the lifeline to millions of Yemenis, putting up to 18 million civilians at risk. Signs of a nascent humanitarian crisis are already clear amid an acute shortage of vital supplies in Hodeida and surrounding provinces as a result of this attack.

Despite Saudi attempts to starve Yemen’s Houthis into submission, the Houthi leadership shows no signs of retreat even in the face of the overwhelming invasion. Houthi leader Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi said in a televised speech on Tuesday,

Yemeni forces will do all in their power to push back invading forces and reclaim captured Hodeida. … The western coast will turn into a big swamp for the invaders.”

Although outgunned by the massive military force aligned against them, the Houthis and their allies have had some success in making the coalition pay a price for its siege of Hodeida.  

Yemen’s Army, allied with the Houthi government, launched a Soviet-era SCUD missile — dubbed “the Tushka” — against UAE troops and allied mercenaries gathering on the west-coast battlefront. The strike, which was based on intelligence reports derived from drones, killed or injured a dozen members of the invading forces, according to a Houthi military source’s statement given to MintPress News. On Wednesday, the Houthis targeted a gathering of Saudi-UAE troops on the west coast with a domestically-produced Qaher 2M ballistic missile.

Translation | Rocket heavy losses reported in the ranks of the .

A high-ranking Houthi official said in a statement to MintPress that Yemen will use all kinds of ballistics against the U.S.-Saudi-led Coalition to protect itself, adding:

We will target vital targets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in retaliation for UAE`s attack against Hodeida, as one of the defensive options to deter attack on the port.”

 

The capacity to strike back

Yemen has devoted considerable time, energy, and resources to advancing the country’s missile program over the past three years, building a domestic arsenal comprised of hundreds of missiles, some able to hit targets deep in Saudi and UAE territory.

The UAE has not been immune to missile attacks. On December 3, 2017, Yemeni forces targeted the $20 billion Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi’s far western desert with a winged cruise missile — though the UAE denied the attack. The Yemeni Air Force, loyal to the Houthis, also launched a Tochka ballistic missile against a Saudi military base in Safer, eastern Yemen, on December 4, 2015, causing a huge blast and inflicting numerous casualties on coalition troops. Fifty-two Emirati, 10 Saudi, and five Bahraini troops, as well as dozens of Saudi-backed mercenaries, were killed in the attack.

Yemen’s Naval Force, loyal to the Houthi government, has also struck back amid the Saudi-led onslaught, targeting a coalition battleship Wednesday morning on Yemen’s west coast during an attempt to advance on Hodeida by sea. “That was during a foiled sea landing of Saudi and Emirati forces near the port of Hodeida,” a spokesman for the army told MintPress.

“Two missiles targeted the hostile battleship off the Hodeida coast. Smoke rose from the targeted battleship after it was hit directly, which prompted other battleships of aggression to retreat away from the coast of Hodeida,” a military source told MintPress. The source pointed out that the targeted battleship was loaded with forces and military equipment for a planned landing operation on the coast of Hodeidah.

According to a military source in the Houthi media bureau of Army Operations, 20 coalition military armored vehicles were also destroyed during past 24 hours alone. The media bureau of Army Operations said that, since the Saudi-led operation began, 119 coalition military vehicles have been destroyed — 58 of them on the west coast front in the course of 150 operations.

 

Attacks continue and spread as Eid celebrations go on

As thousands of Yemenis began celebrations for the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, Saudi-led coalition warplanes continued the aerial assault on Hodeida. coalition warplanes were spotted flying low over the city during communal prayers. Helicopter gunships bombed a strip of coastal territory near the airport, causing civilians to flee in panic.

Markets and fuel stations across Hodeida are still swelling with huge crowds of residents trying to buy food and fuel before the situation worsens, as the Saudi-led coalition has already bombed the port, a key entry point for goods and United Nations aid.

Areas under Houthi control are shown in red, Saudi-coalition forces in yellow.

Areas under Houthi control are shown in red, Saudi-coalition forces in yellow.

The Saudi-led coalition also struck the main road linking Hodeida to Sana’a in an attempt to block supplies from reaching Houthis, who control the capital city.

Saudi-led mercenaries claim to have captured the directorate of Dremi, southern Hodeida, employing hundreds of military armored vehicles, foreign mercenaries, and air cover for the operation. But a source in the Yemeni military said the attack was foiled.

Three wounded civilians have arrived at the General Hospital in Hodeidah, injured by Saudi airstrikes and the warships’ missiles. The hospital called on citizens to donate blood. There is an acute shortage of vital supplies.   

While the initial clashes related to the Saudi-led coalition’s advance were mostly relegated to areas around Hodeida and the nearby international airport, the conflict shows signs of spreading into surrounding areas.

In Saada, northern Yemen, seven civilians including a woman were killed on the night of Eid al-Fitr in joint U.S.-Saudi airstrikes that destroyed a house in the Ghor area, district of Ghamr in Saada. Two children were also killed and others wounded as a result of a Saudi missile that struck the Beni Fayed area in Midi border district of Hajjah governorate in western Yemen.

Top Photo | A Houthi fighter holds a rifle bearing an image of Abdul-Malik al-Houthi during a ceremony marking Eid al-Ghadir in Sanaa, Yemen September 9, 2017. Khaled Abdullah | Reuters

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

The post Yemen’s Houthis Strike Back Amid Saudi-led Bombardment of Hodeida appeared first on MintPress News.

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Alexander Ionov

Alexander Ionov

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