Analysis: Ansarullah’s blows to Saudis in Marib, Al-Jawf cause Riyadh concern about dragging war into Kingdom

Analysis: Ansarullah’s blows to Saudis in Marib, Al-Jawf cause Riyadh concern about dragging war into Kingdom

Undoubtedly, the most important battlefield presently is the strategic and oil-rich city of Ma'rib, which is currently under complete siege by the forces of Ansarullah and its allies. According to local sources, in recent days in Ma'rib, violent clashes broke out between Sana'a-based revolutionary administration's forces on the one hand and the forces of ousted and fugitive Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Saudi-backed Islah Party on the other hand around the city and in the Jabal al-Balq heights directly overlooking Falaj military point at the southern gate of Ma'rib.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): With the diplomatic efforts to end Yemen war losing momentum in the past few months, the clashes have begun to intensify recently. Whereas Yemeni forces including army and the popular committees represented by Ansarullah movement managed to advance in the strategic Ma'rib, Al-Jawf, west coast, and even the neighboring Saudi provinces, the Saudi-led coalition began blind bombardment against civilians and strategic Yemeni sites in a bid to put the brakes on the Ansarullah progress.  

Ansarullah progresses in Ma'rib and Al-Jawf 

Undoubtedly, the most important battlefield presently is the strategic and oil-rich city of Ma'rib, which is currently under complete siege by the forces of Ansarullah and its allies. According to local sources, in recent days in Ma'rib, violent clashes broke out between Sana'a-based revolutionary administration's forces on the one hand and the forces of ousted and fugitive Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Saudi-backed Islah Party on the other hand around the city and in the Jabal al-Balq heights directly overlooking Falaj military point at the southern gate of Ma'rib. 

Fierce fighting between the two sides continues in the areas separating eastern Jabal al-Balq and Karri area, in the Wadi Obaida area in the southeast of the city. This area is a vital line connecting Ma'rib to the oil fields.

On the other side of the war, Ansarullah has made substantial advances cutting off the connection lines between Hadi's forces in Al-Jawf on the Saudi borders. 

In the past few days, a Yemeni military source told Russian Sputnik news agency "Ansarullah movement managed to take control of most of the strategic Al-Yatimah area of Khabb wa ash Sha'af District" of Al-Jawf on the border with Najran, Saudi Arabia, including the regional bazaar and all surrounding heights. 

The 32,000-square-kilometer Khabb wa ash Sha'af District accounts for about 70 percent of the total al-Jawf area, which is 39,495 square kilometers and includes 12 districts, most of which are under the control of Ansarullah forces. 

Ansarullah is trying to seize Khabb wa ash Sha'af district as part of its military operation to take control of Ma'rib, in order to separate Ma'rib and Al-Jawf. 

The advance, which has been a source of great concern to Saudi Arabia, came after popular committees in a military operation in the southern Jazan region of Saudi Arabia inflicted heavy casualties on Sudanese militants hired to fight for Saudi Arabia. 

Last Friday, AFP reported that as a result of operations by the army and popular committees in the northwestern province of Hajjah and Saudi Arabia's Jizan province, Saudi-controlled mercenary positions in the al-Hathira border area near the Haradh district came under attack, resulting in death of 10 Sudanese mercenaries and injury of 17 others. 

Sudanese mercenaries dispatched to Saudi borders 

The Saudi army's incapability to counter the Yemeni forces in the war has been an undeniable reality for all years of war. The Saudi mercenary army, which mainly consists of hired militants from African states and Pakistan, has proven its inability to confront Yemeni forces since Saudi Arabia waged the war against its neighbor in March 2015. This caused a focus by the Saudi war arrangers to focus mainly on airstrikes. 

Now and with Yemeni fighters moving fast to oil-rich Saudi provinces near the border with Yemen, Riyadh is extremely worried that it may fail to save its territorial integrity. Responding to Yemeni retaliatory strikes over the past few days, Saudi Arabia heavily bombed Sana'a International Airport. The Saudi-led coalition has claimed that the attack on the capital's airport was carried out in response to threats and cross-border attacks posed to the kingdom, without pointing to all-out attacks on Yemeni civilian facilities. 

Also, Yemen news website recently reported that the coalition commanders are seeking to send a number of divisions of Hadi and Islah Party forces from Ma'rib and Hadhrahmaut to the kingdom's southern borders. 

In recent months, reports indicated that Saudi Arabia has deployed Sudanese militias in its border areas with Yemen. 

Sudan has sent tens of thousands of troops to Yemen, especially the Janjaweed militia, which accused of crimes in the Darfur region. 

At the end of 2019, the transitional government that emerged from the Sudanese revolution announced that it would cut the number of troops present in Yemen from 15,000 at the beginning of the conflict to 5,000. 

In January 2020, thousands of Sudanese demonstrated in Khartoum demanding the return of relatives they said had been recruited to fight in Yemen and Libya. 

Arab coalition worried about war crimes charges 

As the situation on the battlefield becomes increasingly difficult for Saudi Arabia and its allies, on the political stage, external pressure on Riyadh to end the war is increasing, and reports of a dire humanitarian situation in Yemen as a result of Saudi warlike policy and siege in the already impoverished nation cause concerns to Saudi rulers. 

Recently, the Guardian revealed that phone of a UN war crimes investigator in Yemen was targeted by the Saudi and Emirati governments using a super-sophisticated spying software. According to an analysis shared by the Amnesty International experts, phone of Kamal al-Jandoubi, a Tunisian head of a team of UN investigators watching Yemen war, was hacked in August 2019. 

According to the analysis, the al-Jandoubi phone hack took place a few weeks before the team submitted its report to the UN, some of which concluded that the Saudi-led military coalition had "seriously" violated international humanitarian laws, which could lead to "criminal liability for war crimes". 

Reacting to his phone hack, al-Jandoubi said he was not surprised, adding that "we felt that we could be targeted" following report release in 2018, because the report was shocking to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

The UN says that by the end of 2021, the Yemeni war would be direct and indirect cause to death of 377,000 people in Yemen. 

According to the UN reports, the war, causing the world's worst humanitarian and economic crises, has inflicted $126 billion in damage on Yemen's economy, making a majority of the country's 30-million population depending on aids.




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