Gulf states pay price for intervention against Houthis in Yemen


Houthi rebels are seen with a captured US-made M1 Abrams tank supplied to Saudi Arabia

While the Emirati and Saudi intervention against Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels and their pro-Saleh supporters has been hailed as a success since Aden and other southern cities and towns have been retaken, the gulf countries have paid a price that is often not seen. The Houthis have destroyed several armored vehicles, including US-supplied M1 Abrams tanks, while battling Saudi and Emirati troops.

Houthi rebels, through their official satellite channel Al Masirah TV, have released several videos detailing the destruction of Saudi and Emirati vehicles in Yemen and in southern Saudi Arabia.

The first video, which was taken near the town of Al Khobah in the southern province of Jizan in Saudi Arabia, shows pro-Saleh Yemeni military and Houthi fighters firing anti-tank missiles at a Saudi tank. The video then shifts to showing the fighters on top of a US-supplied M1 Abrams tank. A second video, also from the Jizan region, shows a similar scene.

The Houthis destroy two Abrams with anti-tank missiles. Both tanks can be seen bursting into flames while the Houthi fighters are heard celebrating off-camera. Additionally, a video has been uploaded purporting to show the launching of a SCUD missile into Saudi territory. The Houthis in the video report that the SCUD destroyed a Saudi power station in the Jizan region. The Saudis have denied this, however, and said that its military “intercepted and destroyed” the missile.

Another video shows Houthi and pro-Saleh fighters overrunning a Saudi border guard post also in the Jizan region. The fighters can be seen capturing and destroying several vehicles, as well as capturing the weapons left behind by the Saudi border guards. Towards the end of the video, another captured Abrams is shown. It is unclear if the Abrams was at the guard post or somewhere nearby in the Jizan region.

In another short video from the Jizan region, Houthi rebels capture a US-made Humvee. The group’s motto, “Death to America, Death to Israel, Damn the Jews, Victory to Islam” can be heard during the footage. Towards the end of the video, another M1 Abrams is captured and then subsequently destroyed.

The last video details a destroyed Emirati armored convoy near the town of Mukayris in Al Bayda province. At least eight armored vehicles were destroyed in the ambush. It is unclear how many Emirati soldiers were killed in the attack. Additionally, a video has surfaced online which purports to show a giant Emirati military convoy in the Yemeni province of Hadramout. The UAE reportedly sent 3,000 troops and armored vehicles to Yemen last last month in order to support the Saudi-led intervention in the country.

Caleb Weiss is an editor of FDD's Long War Journal and a senior analyst at the Bridgeway Foundation, where he focuses on the spread of the Islamic State in Central Africa.

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  • m3fd2002 says:

    Great videos. At least most of them are being knocked out, not captured intact. I think the Saudi’s and friends are finally putting to use those billions of dollars worth of weapons. Not sure how the ground operations will pan out. The pilots should be getting relatively better with all of the sorties they have been doing. I am surprised/impressed that the abrams were destroyed by those ATGM’s. reportedly an Iranian Tosun.

  • m. b. says:

    Wow nice work. Good videos. With all those equipt. Lost and ambushed in combat, saudi casualties should be more than just 40 dead.(official tally). The ksa its far from being a democratic country, with the usage of cluster bombs & hidding its casualties its looks more like gaddafi or a european dictatorship

  • M.B II says:

    Nice post, just wondering with the small population and numbers the Emirati Army has, how they could replace the 45 killed they got at Friday attack, their army its over 13,000 men. And that means they will have a hard work to absorb those losses. Much harder than the Saudis.

  • Lover says:

    Saudi’s are killing 100s of innocent children and women at Yemen. They will know the pain only when their people get killed. Saudi has became mad with the oil money and the American weapons. I hope Saudi will fail the war and Yemeni people will have peacefull life.


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