Yemen Claims Saudi Arabia Invasion Capturing Thousands of Troops

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Yemen’s Houthis claim to have invaded Saudi Arabia and captured thousands of troops in Najran. Conflicting stories.

Alleged Yemen Invasion

Juan Cole reports Yemen’s Houthis Say they Invaded Saudi Arabia, Captured Thousands of Troops in Najran.

Yemen is an informational black hole in which all sorts of allegations are made that later turn out to be bunkum. So no one who knows the place would want to take at face value a breathless news release from the Helpers of God movement in Sana’a, otherwise known as the Houthis. We do not have any confirmation yet, and although reporters asked the Saudis to respond, Riyadh is mum.

The Houthi spokesman said that the movement had been infiltrating Najran province for some months, and finally sprang the encirclement of the Saudi military facilities, from which they also captured large numbers of weapons.

If the Houthi claims are even partially true, it underlines the weakness of Saudi security yet again, in the wake of the drone attacks on their Abqaiq petroleum processing plant in the Eastern Province, which initially knocked out about half of their petroleum exports.

As Human Rights Watch noted, Najran province, like the Eastern Province, has a Shiite majority, but these are Ismaili Shiites. Of the province’s some 600,000 inhabitants, perhaps 400,000 are Ismailis. They had been relatively loyal to Saudi Arabia and had fought the Houthis, despite Saudi Wahhabi animus against Shiites. I’m just wondering, though, if the long Yemen war on their doorstep has disillusioned them. It is just speculation, but I’m thinking the Houthis couldn’t have infiltrated Najran unless the locals had averted their eyes.

The Houthis also claimed that attack on Abqaiq, though they said that they had local help. The forensics that became public suggests that the drones were launched from within the Eastern Province, where Shiite Muslims with a history of restiveness under Wahhabi rule predominate. Saudi Arabia is about 40% Wahhabi, but that branch of Islam is the state religion. Saudi Wahhabis are more puritanical and rigid than most other forms of Islam (and even than the much more tolerant Qatari Wahhabis), and they have a special disdain for Shiite Islam, which predominates in Iraq and Iran. Although the US and some European states have blamed Iran, the likelihood is that the weapons were launched from within the kingdom, not from Iran itself, though they might be Iranian manufacture.

Conflicting Stories on Yemen Invasion

Juan Cole picked up the story from the BBC and like the BBC has severe doubts on the accuracy.

Cole does make this pertinent evaluation "If the story is true, it is a huge development in the war and an enormous blow to Saudi security."

The BBC reports Houthi Rebels Video Fails to Prove Saudi Troop Capture Claim.

On Saturday, a Houthi spokesman said three Saudi brigades had surrendered near the Saudi town of Najran. The video shows an attack on armoured vehicles, but there is so far no verification of the Houthi claim of a major military success.

Colonel Yahiya Sarea alleged on Saturday that Saudi forces had suffered "huge losses in life and machinery", including "thousands" of its troops. All those captured would be paraded on the Houthi-run Al Masirah TV network, he said.

But the video broadcast on Sunday instead shows what appear to be rebels firing at vehicles on a road. This is followed by footage of several burnt-out vehicles, as well as assorted light weaponry laid out on the ground and a group of men not in military uniforms marching down a dirt road.

Story True?

Who knows? I don't. The story could be anywhere from the complete truth, to exaggeration, to a blatant lie.

Perfect Solution

Let's get down to the real nitty gritty.

We attacked Iraq after 911 because "Iraq was rich in targets"

The US overthrow of Saddam Hussein, a secular leader, led to the formation of ISIS and a pro-Iran government in Iraq.

It doesn't matter what version of the Yemen story is correct because one look at the lead-in map provides the obvious perfect solution.

Invade Australia

The US should invade Australia.

After all, Australia has plenty of targets including nice reserves of copper, gold, and other metals.

Canada also has nice looking targets but Canada is too close for involvement.

We need to stop Australia over there, before Australia comes here.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (32)
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numike
numike

“To maintain his rule, King Abdul Aziz had to show the people of Saudi Arabia, in material ways, that they were his subjects. Without the funds to do so, his rule would crumble.” ― Ellen R. Wald, Saudi, Inc.: The Arabian Kingdom's Pursuit of Profit and Power

alanking
alanking

Is the news from the Houthis true when western msm is reluctant to confirm ? that's easy. My experience has been that most foreign news from western msm is deliberately wrong or twisted. Therefore in this case, would bet the news that the Saudis suffer a big defeat is true. This "American Pravda" behavior of western msm has been going on for years, no idea why few recognize it for what it is.

wootendw
wootendw

I have seen numerous tweets from an assortment of anti-Saudi tweeters. The numbers killed or captured are in the hundreds with plenty of videos/pics.

According to one, "[m]ost of those captured are actually Yemenis paid by Saudis to defend southern border." Other tweets say the Saudis bombed some of those who surrendered, so the 'paid Yemenis' tweet may be accurate. However, it does appear that the Yemenis killed many Saudi soldiers and destroyed or captured Saudi arms.

Whatever the exact truth is, Saudi Arabia appears to be very weak and will be unable to make the claim that Iran did this. Hopefully, it destroys the narrative drawn up to start another war (with Iran).

Axiom7
Axiom7

Australia doesn't have energy and control of the Straits of Hormuz. So that won't help.

Tengen
Tengen

The top map looks silly claiming that Israel is "non-aligned". They are most definitely part of the US-Saudi axis.

Have to hand it to the Houthis for fighting this well after four and a half years of bombardment. They seem to think they have the upper hand and they're probably right.

numike
numike

Excellent book! It goes deeper than just its title. And should be on the list of reads if one is to understand the complexity of this region: https://www.amazon.com/Islam-Nazi-Germanys-David-Motadel/dp/0674724607/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=islam+and+the+nazis&qid=1569789683&sr=8-1

2banana
2banana
  1. Trump, after three years in office, has invaded a grand total of zero places.

  2. Saudi ground troops are terrible. Many hired mercenaries. No suprise there.

Mish
Mish

Editor

"Australia doesn't have energy and control of the Straits of Hormuz. So that won't help."

Such short-sighted answers

If Australia doesn't work we need to go after Greenland and New Zealand. The latter has a lot of sheep. Without energy we will need more wool.

Carl_R
Carl_R

re: "The US overthrow of Saddam Hussein, a secular leader, led to the formation of ISIS and a pro-Iran government in Iraq."

For those not interested in a religious perspective, just skip this post.

Among Christians, there are four different interpretations of revelation: Preterist=it already happened in 70AD, Futurist=it will all happen in the future, Idealist=It is simply statements of things that are always true, and is not actually specific prophecies, and Historicist=it is a series of prophecies that have been fulfilled gradually throughout history. Long ago the most common view was historicism. These days liberal churches tend to be idealists while the fundamentalist churches seem to be mostly futurists, and look forward to a rapture and tribulation. I believe that Missouri Synod Lutherans and 7th Day Adventists are Historicists.

Why I mention all this is that, for those that hold the historicist view, what happened in Iraq was inevitable, and was simply the final fulfillment of the prophecy in Revelation 16:12 "The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East." The river is a metaphor for the political area around the river, while "The East" refers to Persia, now known as Iran. For a very long time, the Ottoman Empire, and then Iraq, served as a buffer, separating "The East" from the middle east. The beginning of the fulfillment was the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and the final fulfillment was the fall of Iran. Now, that buffer is gone, and the area around the Euphrates is slowly moving into alignment with Iran, making the way clear for the "Kings of the East" to march to the middle East, should they choose to do so.

So, with that prophecy fulfilled, what comes next for the historicist? Revelation 16:13-14 is "Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty."

To aid in interpreting this, the current historicist view is that the Dragon is the EU, the beast is the Catholic Church, and the false prophet is Islam. Thus, I gather this refers to some strange political times, which will ultimately lead us towards world war. By the time you get to 16:16 you are at Armegeddon, and 16:18 certainly sounds like a nuclear war.

The good news is that each historicist prophecy has tended to take a couple hundred years to fulfill, so even if the historicists are right, there may be awhile yet before said nuclear war, but one never knows. And, of course, the historicists could be wrong. Historicists who have tried to predict a specific date for the end times have always been wrong.

ElPendejoGrande
ElPendejoGrande

Poor Saudis! Looks like their American benefactor has his tiny hands full trying to keep himself out of jail. Perhaps if they crash a few more airliners into New York skyscrapers....

thimk
thimk

Good points, with Mish you sometimes have to read between the lines. . I can remember a documentary where an Iraqy stated, pre our invasion,under Hussien, the different types of Islam inter married and lived together , life was good . now religious factions are engaged in bitter proxies wars . Hussein kept Iran at bay. now a trill$ later , Iraq sides with Iran.

ColoradoAccountant
ColoradoAccountant

"We need to stop Australia over there, before Australia comes here." Vietnam redux.

Country Bob
Country Bob

I am not sure Mish grasps the longevity of shale oil deposits (hint: its really really short). This oil "independence" is a fleeting thing, even if we ignore how much "US independence" just comes from outside the middle east.

Especially after the peak of North Sea oil fields, the UK is once again dependent on Iranian oil for their energy needs. Europe is now much more dependent on Russian natgas. As with many things in life, people and countries "make friends" with the suppliers they need for survival. Europe's need for energy is dominating the idealism of NATO, and this was the case more than a decade before Trump made it official.

The Saudi's are selling more oil to China than to the USA. Remember how the USA outsourced our factories to China? Well, we outsourced energy demand of those factories too. China doesn't have the military ability to protect Saudi Arabia.

No matter how big Trump's ego is (YUGE! copyright 2016, 2020 Trump for Pres) he has to play the cards he was dealt. The UK must cozy up to Iran because the north sea oil fields peaked a decade ago. Europe must cozy up to Russia because it is the cheapest source of natgas for Europe. Nothing any US president does will change this.

The demand for Saudi oil shifted to China along with US factories, and Saudi policy has to shift with it. Unfortunately for the Saudis, Chinese military policy does not have to shift.

The Houthis are probably lying about most everything, but for now they are a useful pawn that Iran can use to aggravate the Saudis. Other than that, the Houthis don't matter

Maximus_Minimus
Maximus_Minimus

The first choice to bomb would be Denmark, because it doesn't want to give up Greenland. Anyways, when this economic mirage cannot be maintained any longer, and the masses become restless, someone somewhere will get bombed.

abend237-04
abend237-04

I'm very doubtful something on this scale could go down without a lot of hell being raised in real time. I support the Australian invasion, but make it New Zealand; There's more bodies. Yes, they're sheep, but Vietnam taught us it's all about body count.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Unfortunately, Canada is already here, so attacking Canada is simply too late. We need to stop them over there.

abend237-04
abend237-04

We've poured billions into NASA for decades now. I think it's time we demanded a payoff. Let's lay plans to invade an exoplanet. Invading continents is trite; it's been done, repeatedly.

ksdude69
ksdude69

We must put those evil opal mines out of business!

I could care less about Saudi. Until oil prices rise.