Yemeni forces advance toward Marib despite U.S.-backed Saudi brutal campaign

A Saudi-American fiasco

March 1, 2021 - 21:29

TEHRAN – Yemen’s government forces have launched a liberation campaign to capture the strategic province of Marib while initiating a new operation against Saudi Arabia, a move that indicates the growing capabilities of the Sanaa government despite the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

The Saudis began a war on Yemen in 2015 in the hope of eradicating Yemen’s Ansarallah movement, which they accused of being backed by Iran. 

But after more than five years of nonstop aggression, the Saudis not only failed to defeat Ansarallah, but they also helped the movement become even stronger than ever by continuing their aggression.

This fact was on full display in February when the Ansarallah-led forces launched to separate operations against Saudi Arabia and its allied groups inside Yemen.

On Sunday, Brigadier General Yahya Sare’e announced in a statement that Yemen’s Air Force along with the Missile Force successfully carried out a large and joint offensive operation deep inside Saudi Arabia.

The operation, formally called “5th Operation of Balanced Deterrence,” targeted sensitive sites in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

“The 5th Operation of Balanced Deterrence came in retaliation for the kingdom’s ongoing escalating aggression and siege on our dear people,” Sare’e said.

He explained that the operation was carried out with a Zolfaghar ballistic missile and 15 drones, including 9 Sammad-3 drones, targeting sensitive sites in the enemy's capital, Riyadh, according to Al-Masirah TV.

The spokesman pointed out that 6 Qasef-2K drones targeted military sites in Abha and Khamis Mushait, stressing that the hit was accurate.

Sare’e stated that the 5th Operation of Balanced Deterrence continued from Saturday evening until Sunday morning.

He confirmed that “our retaliatory attacks are continuing and will expand more and more as long as the aggression and siege on our country continues,” renewing caution to residents of these areas to stay away from all military sites and airports or places that may be used for military purposes.

The fact that the Yemeni forces were able to launch the fifth operation against Saudi Arabia while fighting with Saudi-backed forces inside Yemen is in itself a telling indication. The government in Sanaa has been under Saudi bombardment right from the start. It not only survived, but also managed to become strong enough to fight on various fronts.

The first Yemeni operation that targeted the oil-rich country was launched in mid-August in 2019 when ten drones targeted the Shaybah oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni Air Force launched one of its most consequential operations against Saudi Arabia in mid-September 2019, targeting Saudi Arabia’s eastern oil processing facilities of Abqaiq and Khurais, and cutting off half of the country’s oil production – nearly five percent of global oil supplies - for a few days.

Five months later, the Yemeni forces launched another operation in which they hit Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities in Yanbu with 12 drones, three medium-range and long-range missiles.

Last year in June, the Yemeni forces launched their fourth operation in which the Saudi capital of Riyadh was hit with a large number of ballistic and winged missiles as well as drones. 

The fifth operation carried a long-term strategic message at the regional level, especially with the ongoing battles between the Yemeni army and the coalition forces in Marib, according to Al-Masirah TV. 

Citing observers, the channel network said the operation proves once again the increase in Yemeni military capabilities and the failure of Saudi Arabia at the tactical and strategic level despite the capabilities it possesses.

The observers emphasized that the strike at this time is a warning message to stop the mobilization of takfiri and terrorist organizations to Marib. And also, that the Saudi regime may pay a lot for the consequences of not responding to it, in the event that the Yemeni forces are forced to carry out a Sixth Operation of Balanced Deterrence.

Marib has become a battleground that would determine the fate of the Yemen war. Over the past few days, the Sanaa-based government forces have increased their military activities in a bid to liberate Marib from the Saudi-backed forces who appeared to endure a series of defeats on various fronts. A military source close to the Saudi-backed forces told the AFP news agency that more than 20 members of the Saudi-backed forces were killed in the last 24 hours in the fighting. 

Marib is the last bastion of the Saudi-baked forces in northern Yemen. “Fighting continues unabated on all fronts in Marib province,” the source said.

In an attempt to prevent Marib city from falling in the hands of the Yemen forces, Saudi Arabia has launched an air campaign against the Yemeni forces in a number of provinces.

However, Saudi Arabia failed to stop the march of the Sanaa forces toward Marib. This debacle is the latest in a series of failures that Saudi Arabia has faced in Yemen in recent weeks despite enjoying overwhelming international support, including from the United States.

Of course, the U.S. has most recently sought to distance itself from the Saudi fiasco in Yemen by taking a series of measures that seemingly restrict American support for the Saudi war on Yemen.

The Biden administration has ended Washington's support for offensive operations in Yemen. 

“This war has to end. And to underscore our commitment, we’re ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arm sales,” President Biden said in a recent speech at the State Department while underling the U.S. commitment to ensuring Saudi Arabia’s security and territorial integrity.

The Biden administration also removed Yemen’s Ansarullah movement from the U.S. government’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

But these measures were taken only after the new U.S. administration took office with a clear understanding that the Saudi war on Yemen is bound to end in failure and thus American support for this war will make no difference in the fate of the war.

The U.S. threw its weight behind Saudi Arabia over the years of the Yemen war, selling it state-of-the-art offensive weapons. But this all-out earned the U.S. nothing but a heinous reputation as complicit in the worst humanitarian disaster of the world.


 

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