By Randi Nord
Speaking to press on Sep. 28, Brigadier-General Yahya Saree announced the success of an operation dubbed “Victory from God” carried out in Najran province by Yemen’s Army and Popular Committees. Revealing only minimal details at the time, Saree said Yemeni forces managed to lay siege to three Saudi-backed military brigades as well as an entire large faction of the army — all during the first 72 hours of the operation.
“Only 72 hours after the start of the operation, our forces applied the siege on three deceived brigades and a whole faction of the Saudi army,” he said.
On Sunday, Saree announced the first phase of a multi-tier operation. The first phase lasted 72 hours during which the Saudi coalition launched 300 air raids. According to Saree, Yemen’s Army and Popular Committees in collaboration with the Yemeni Missile Force carried out at least 20 operations on targets in Saudi Arabia, including one “sensitive target” in Riyadh, which were designed to divert attention away from Najran.
It worked. Apache helicopters and warplanes left the Najran region and Yemeni forces were left to launch a successful ambush and siege against enemy troops.
Brigadier-General Saree announced that during the month-long operation, Yemeni forces successfully captured not only over 2,000 Saudi mercenaries but also several high-ranking Saudi military officers and soldiers. Yemenis are currently holding the captives as prisoners at secret locations and have reassured their families that Yemen’s Army and Popular Committees are taking all necessary measures to protect them from Saudi coalition airstrikes.
Saree revealed that many of the more than 2,000 prisoners captured were children and mercenaries of varying nationalities. He pointed out Riyadh’s violation of international law by thrusting children to defend its border and front line.
According to Brigadier-General Saree, protecting the prisoners posed quite a challenge initially. Upon capturing the Saudi brigades and platoon, Saudi coalition warplanes attempted to strike their positions as they fled and surrendered to Yemeni forces. This mirrors and aligns with an attack on September 1 when Saudi Arabia thwarted a prisoner swap deal by bombing three prison facilities in Yemen, killing over 100 of their own fighters held in the buildings and injuring dozens more.
As part of the Victory from God operation, Yemeni forces also successfully seized copious amounts of Saudi coalition military equipment including hundreds of military armored vehicles and weapons caches.
But it doesn’t end there.
Yemen’s Army and Popular Committees also managed to liberate 350 kilometers or about 217 miles of territory in all directions as part of the month-long operation.
Over the course of the war, Ansarullah and Yemeni forces have expanded their operations behind enemy lines in Najran, Aseer, and Jizan province in response to the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrike campaign which specifically targets civilian infrastructure like homes, schools, and hospitals as well as large civilian gatherings like funerals, weddings, and crowded weekend markets.
Aseer, Najran, and Jizan used to be part of Yemen but were seized by the Saudi Kingdom during a war in 1934.
Don’t be fooled by the mainstream media’s portrayal of Yemen’s Army and Popular Committees as barefoot nomads and cave dwellers. Most of Yemen’s national army has joined Ansarullah against the Saudi-backed coalition. Yemeni troops operating in Najran include advanced special forces such as a sniper unit which boasts hundreds of confirmed kills each year.
According to the previous estimates from last year, reports suggested that Yemeni forces controlled “hundreds” of miles beyond the Saudi border in these provinces. Riyadh, embarrassed by its failure to secure its own southern border, has refused to comment publicly on the matter.
Hitting Aramco from the skies and Saudi troops on the ground
While many writers, diplomats, and political analysts were quick to blame Iran for the Aramco attack on September 14, Geopolitics Alert has reported on Yemen’s growing domestic military strength since the beginning of the war.
As soon as Saudi Arabia began their airstrike campaign against Yemen in 2015, Yemen’s Ansarullah and allies began developing domestic military technology to break Yemen’s dependence on foreign powers for defense. During President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule, Yemen relied on military aid from countries like the United States. Today, Yemen has developed advanced ballistic missiles and technology to not only defend itself from aggression but also wield its power as an international political force.
As anyone paying attention knows, military power is the only language the United States and their allies speak. Yemen understands this.
Since 2015, Yemen’s Sana’a-based government and military have managed to develop advanced naval missiles, long-range missiles, mid-range ballistic missiles, unmanned surveillance drones, kamikaze drones, anti-aircraft weapons, precision rifles, and much more. Not to mention, they’ve also invested in manpower by training Yemeni troops and special forces.
Yemeni forces used such technology to launch its series of attacks on two Aramco facilities earlier this month with ten unmanned kamikaze drones.
As one of Yemen’s most successful attacks since the beginning of the war, ten drones knocked out half of Riyadh’s oil output, drove up global crude prices, and forced Saudi Arabia to actually import oil from foreign sources. The attack was so successful that Washington prepared to tap its strategic emergency oil reserves to balance the international market.
Pushing Saudi Arabia towards peace
September’s Victory from God operation and successful attack on Aramco earlier in the month are part of Sana’a’s broader campaign to push Saudi Arabia towards genuine peace negotiations.
Many media outlets falsely claimed this week that Saudi Arabia extended an olive branch to Ansarullah and their allies following the Aramco attack. In reality, Brigadier-General Saree announced that Yemeni forces were prepared to halt all missile and drone attacks on economic targets if Riyadh was willing to halt its genocidal airstrike campaign.
Riyadh did not take Brigadier-General Saree up on this offer.
Shortly after Sana’a requested a peace deal, Saudi Arabia launched over 150 airstrikes and a series of attacks on civilian targets. Saudi-led coalition warplanes targeted two homes last week killing 22 people — mostly women and children.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that while Saudi Arabia targets civilian infrastructure, homes, and gatherings with the purpose of producing the highest number of civilian casualties, Yemen’s Ansarullah and their allies restrict their attacks to military and economic targets and make every effort to reduce civilian casualties.
The strike on Aramco, for example, may have devastated oil production, but it did not kill anyone. Sana’a repeatedly warns workers to steer clear of specific economic targets in the UAE and Saudi kingdom and always targets areas that produce high economic losses without risk of human life.
Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, has ordered over 44 thousand airstrikes since the war began and roughly two-thirds of those target civilians specifically. That figure does not include the tens of thousands more who have died as a result of the land, sea, and air blockade which severely restricts Yemen’s access to vital food imports and medical supplies while preventing civilians from fleeing the country.
The world’s worst man made humanitarian crisis
A panel of experts conducting an investigation for the UN Human Rights Council determined last year that since the Saudi coalition uses precision-guided smart missiles, this indicates that the Saudi airstrikes hit their intended targets such as crowded markets and school buses full of children.
According to a report Geopolitics Alert recently received from the Republic of Yemen, Saudi Arabia conducted over 7,000 individual attacks across various parts of Yemen just throughout the month of July alone. Over half of such attacks took place in Hodeidah province where Saudi Arabia is violating a peace agreement negotiated in Sweden last December.
In addition to killing hundreds of civilians since July, the Saudi-led coalition also destroyed 28 water treatment facilities, 76 agricultural fields, and 1,322 civilian homes.
The United States provides the bulk of military support to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in Yemen.U.S. support is less passive than Washington lets on and includes ground training, precision-guided smart missiles, fighter jets, and logistic support for selecting airstrike targets.
Founder and editor of Geopolitics Alert, Randi Nord is an American geopolitical analyst and content strategist. She covers US imperialism with a special focus on Yemen and Lebanon.
Reprinted from Geopolitics Alert