West News Wire: Instead of defeating the Houthis, Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen has only forced them to evolve into a more efficient and capable fighting force, analytic site, Responsible State Craft reported.
Saudi Arabia and its allies failed to defeat the Yemeni army and popular committees, and Riyadh’s launch of the war turned Sanaa’s forces into a more powerful and powerful fighting force.
The government of Saudi Arabia persisted in this miscalculation when it decided to launch “Operation Decisive Storm” in March 2015, what was to be a quick success against a “weak” and ill-equipped enemy turned into a six year long and counting quagmire.
Instead of defeating the Houthis, Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen has only forced them to evolve into a more efficient and capable fighting force. Now, the end game for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen and for those forces it supports—namely Yemen’s internationally recognized government (IRG) — is fast approaching.
The report added, for much of the last three months, the Houthis have steadily consolidated control of much of the keystone governorate of al-Bayda, south of Marib, gas rich governorate of Shabwa.
On September 23, the Houthis successfully targeted the al-Khashinah military base with missiles. Sanaa forces then took control of the base with ground attacks.
Beyond Yemen’s borders, the Houthis are using ever more sophisticated drone and missile attacks to pressure Saudi Arabia into continuing to pursue unilateral negotiations with the Houthi leadership. In August, the Houthis successfully targeted Abha airport in Saudi Arabia’s Asir province. The attack, which involved a missile and multiple drones, wounded eight people and damaged a parked commercial aircraft. On September 4, the Houthis launched a missile attack on a target in Saudi Arabia’s oil rich Eastern Region. The missile, which the Saudis claim they intercepted, traveled over a thousand kilometers from its launch site within northern Yemen.
The report added that these attacks along with the most recent attacks on targets in Marib show that the Houthis, continue to develop missiles and drones that are more accurate and have longer ranges. While Saudi air defenses intercept most of these drones and missiles, the cost of doing so is tremendous. The drones and missiles manufactured by the Houthis are low cost compared with what Saudi Arabia is forced to spend on air defense. These costs and the inevitable failed interceptions will increase as the Houthis develop more sophisticated drones and missiles.
Much like U.S. support for the former government of Afghanistan, the unchecked flow of money and weapons from Saudi Arabia to its proxies in Yemen has fostered dependency, endemic corruption, and inefficiency.
Now, the endgame for their primary opponent, the IRG, is approaching. The Houthis, as per their strategy, are simultaneously negotiating with tribes while continuing to press forward militarily. At the same time, the Saudi government is reducing its support for the IRG and their allies. Cracks in the tribal alliances that support the IRG are widening.
After six years of war in Yemen, there is little hope that any force within Yemen or outside of Yemen is going to militarily defeat the Houthis.