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29 September 2019


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It could have been "Who let the dogs out?"



my impression is that the burning vehicles were either set on fire as part of combat damage (these things catch fire easily)or they were burned by the Saudis before they ran.


Google shills for the neocons.


You may be right. But in the longer video (the one now censored by youtube) there are Houthi setting fire to some heavy vehicles, which I believe were Canandian or UK made personnel carriers. First they remove lots of fancy weapons, then they sprinkle gasoline and light it up.


The Saudis were filmed bombing their own surrendering troops in the video I watched. The Houthis tried to give aid to some that were hit - there was a glimpse of a mercenary completely blown in half at the waist.

At this point I think a solid Houthi advance deep into Saudi territory would trigger an all out revolt. Those new armored vehicles are going to come in handy :)



Yes. I don't have that footage. These may be vehicles that are not "runners" or maybe the Yemenis don't have enough people who can drive them and have decided to abandon them.


My sister on the Nakba: "It was a desert they weren't doing anything with." LOL

JP Billen

Mostly Canadian made LAVs from what I saw. But armor does not fit into Houthi tactics IMO. So they destroyed the ones that were still operable.

JP Billen

The Saudis had could not defeat the Houthis back in 1934 either.

I've started rereading Robert Lacey's 1981 book titled 'The Kingdom'. He relates that in the spring of 1934 Abdul Aziz intended to conquer all of Yemen like he had done earlier with the Hejaz in the west and the Ha'il region in the north.

Two large Saudi armies of Wahhabi Ikhwan under Princes Sa'ud and Faisal "advanced southwards in a pincer movement designed to capture the isolated and sparsely populated kingdom that stretched from Asir down to the borders of Britain's Aden Protectorate."

Prince Faisal's army advanced south along the flat Tihama plain of the Red Sea Coast without major resistance. He captured Asir and Jizan. His elder brother Sa'ud advanced into the buzzsaw of Houthi hill people in the north Yemen cliffs and passes. The Ikhwan horsemen were used to open desert country and were completely flummoxed. So Abdul Aziz negotiated a peace.

A year later in Mecca, three Yemenis made an assassination attempt with daggers on King Abdul Aziz. His burly son Sa'ud saved him by intervening and took a nasty gash on his shoulder, so was back in the good graces of his father and later became king himself. 30 years later in the 1960s the Saudis publicly executed 17 Yemenis after a series of bomb explosions within Saudi Arabia.

And now 85 years later there is still bad blood between the Yemenis and Saudis. The Houthis have never needed Iranian encouragement to hate Al Saud.

The Twisted Genius

Oldman22, that "Strategic Culture" article is excellent. I was wondering if there was any part of this operation that extended beyond the immediate battlefield. The Houthis executed what the US call deep battle. They used their missile forces to interdict the Saudi Air Force before they could leave the airbases and did the same to possible Saudi ground force reinforcements. Federico Pieraccini, the author, has good sources and good analytical skills. I don't know what his background is, but I'll be reading more of his work.

The Houthi ground victory was a glowing example of what well led and well trained and motivated light infantry can do. We felt we were in the same position in the 25th ID in the hollow Army days of the 70s. At that time the division consisted of 9 light infantry battalions (3 were HARNG). The entire division posessed 3 M-551 Sheridan tanks in a ground cav troop. We had no body armor and no 100lb rucksacks. We were light and fast. Our primary mission was to reinforce Korea, of course. We were also slated to reinforce Europe because we were so mobile. We trained to fight Soviet mechanized and motorized divisions. It can be done as the Houthis proved.


oldman22 - thank you for that interesting link.


Setting on fire Saudi vehicles with a lighter is sort of Houtis' signature.
"Our 50¢ lighter against your 100,000s$ war machines"



JP Billen

That is too easy an explanation. I saw quite a few driven off.



I do not have nearly the analytical skills regarding this than you do, but I think that the attack on the oil facilities and the outcome of this combat signifies a tipping point. The old expression about a paper tiger may apply to the Saudis.

One thing I know, and I concur with your view of Donald Trump, and that is that the US response to this will be misguided. Not to mention inadequate and too late.

I have long maintained that this area has been fought over for at least 10K years and no end is in sight. To think the US can change this is pure folly.


JP Billen

Tell us what your military qualifications are.


Oldman22 - I agree that the apparent* lack of Saudi coalition air support is strange, and markedly so. But I can't see how Yemeni rocket/drone attacks could have possibly grounded all 100+ Saudi and 100+ 'coalition partners' aircraft, as well as all the attack helicopters at every military airfield in southwest Saudi Arabia. That just beggars belief - this operation took a day or two, not a couple of hours. The civilian side of mixed-use airports like Jizan, Abha or Riyadh might temporarily shut down, but the military side? It's not like Yemen cratered the runways.

The two Patriot batteries believed to be in the south have been successful in taking out *some* Yemeni missiles, so it's not like the airfields are defenseless.

This seems more like lack of will on the Saudi coalition AF's part to risk any of their aircraft for actual ground support. Dumping precision-guided munition loads from 20k ft. (6,100m) safely above MANPADS range is about all they seem capable of doing. You need to be much lower for any kind of close air support. Really bad optics on the Saudis' part if they expect to hire more mercs.

Another possibility is they ran out of pilots. There's supposedly only a handful of qualified Saudi pilots that fly any Yemeni missions. They rely heavily on 'coalition partner' pilots and contractors (UAE uses both). If UAE stopped flying Saudi missions (no idea) then there may just not be the right number or mix of Saudi pilots/aircraft types to do anything.

If Saudis use contract pilots, then they probably haven't been paid in a long time - just like their grunt mercs (Sudanese, Paki, whatever) the Saudis have been stiffing. They must really be broke. Those Canadian LAV IIIs the Houthis captured, rolled or burnt? The Saudis are late paying for them - something like $1.6 billion so far. The Saudis still haven't paid that few hundred million for U.S. mid-air refueling - it's been months since that was reported.

*'apparent' because I'm going entirely by the brief mention and segment of a Saudi coalition airstrike in the Houthi videos. Not sure if that was the Saudis trying to kill their own surrendering merc forces or if they were really trying to hit the Houthis. KSA, coalition cronies and MSM have been silent so far. Probably trying to find a reason to blame it on Iran.

jd hawkins

I would separate the Canadian people from their hypocritical 'leadership'.

jd hawkins

It's always best to turn one's brain on before opening their mouth... even for food!

No offense if [that] is beyond your control.

JP Billen

Minimal. Just an old man in an armchair who has a passion for history and its connections to the here and now.


They may also be concerned with GPS tracking hidden on the vehicles, or that the vehicles will slow them down, limit the Houthis' mobility to the places where such a vehicle can be driven, or otherwise be a target for Saudi aircraft and helicopters.



I would vote for a combination of - a shortage of pilots and - fear of ground fire. After all, who wants to die as an employee of the House of Saud? These guys join the air force for the foreign training and the fun of flying.



That the Saudis tried to use them in this steep mountainous terrain is criminal negligence. Plus the terrified drivers fleeing turned them over like turtles on their backs with belly up. You can't run those things cross-slope. Center of gravity is too high making the roll angle much greater than in other mil vehicles. It's not just the Canadians, the US Army Stryker and the Marines LAV-25 have the same issues. Too bad. They do well in flat, open country as light armoured recon.

Paul Merrell

The military vehicles would be only of limited use to the Houthis, since they have no supply chain for spare parts. So it makes sense for them to burn them before retreating, which denies their use to the Saudis. Light weapons and ammunition? Much more useful.

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