- The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have claimed a major victory over coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia, announcing this weekend that they killed hundreds of enemy troops and captured thousands more, along with weapons and vehicles.
- The rebels, which overthrew the government in Yemen almost five years ago and ignited a civil war that has become one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, released images and video footage of their purported victory Sunday.
- Saudi Arabia has yet to comment on the claims by the Houthis, which also claimed the devastating drone and cruise missile strikes on Saudi oil sites earlier this month.
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The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have claimed a major victory over the Saudi-led coalition forces in a fight along the border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, in which the rebels purportedly killed hundreds of coalition troops and captured thousands more, according to multiple reports.
Saudi Arabia, together with other regional Sunni partners, has been battling the Shia Houthis since they overthrew the government in Yemen several years ago, igniting a civil war that has slowly evolved into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. “Operation Victory from God is the largest military one since the brutal aggression began,” Mohammed Abdul Salam, a Houthi spokesman said Sunday, The Guardian reported. “The enemy suffered heavy losses.”
He claimed the attacks took place inside Saudi Arabia, revealing photos and video footage said to show destroyed vehicles with Saudi markings, corpses dressed in Saudi uniforms, a trail of captured enemy troops, and a vast collection of seized enemy weaponry, The Washington Post reported.
Yahiya Sarea, another Houthi spokesman, said that the Saudi-led coalition suffered “huge losses in life and machinery,” BBCreported.
The rebels claim to have killed as many as 500 coalition troops and captured as many as 2,000, including an unknown number of Saudi officers. The Houthi claims remain unverified, but a success of this scale would make the assault a tremendous victory for the rebels.
Saudi Arabia has not yet commented on the claims, which, if true, would mark another embarrassment for the country just weeks after its oil production was temporarily crippled in drone and missile attacks on Saudi oil sites, attacks that the country was unable to defend itself against, attacks claimed by the Houthis. Saudi Arabia has the world’s third largest annual defence budget.
Houthi claims pertaining to the attacks on Saudi oil facilities have been called into question by Western countries, especially the US, which has blamed Iran for the attacks. Saudi Arabia has concluded that the drone and missile strikes were “unquestionably sponsored by Iran,” but the country has yet to accuse Iran of launching the attack on Saudi Arabia.