Late September of 2019 | Houthi rebels in Yemen say they have killed 500 Saudi soldiers, captured a further 2,000 and seized a convoy of Saudi military vehicles.
The extraordinary claims at a press conference on Sunday, September 29th 2019, involving still photographs and inconclusive videos of captured soldiers, many not in uniform, could not be corroborated, and there was no independent confirmation from Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis, showing pictures and video clips of upturned Saudi vehicles and immobilized convoys, claimed the attacks had occurred over the past three days in the southern Najran region of Saudi Arabia, which borders Yemen, and would continue with greater intensity.
“Operation Victory from God is the largest military one since the brutal aggression began. The enemy suffered heavy losses … and wide swathes of territory were liberated in only a few days,” said the Houthi spokesman, Mohammed Abdul Salam.
He also claimed hundreds of Saudi soldiers lay dead or injured on the battlefield, and Riyadh had little option but to consider how to withdraw. He said the Houthis would end their attacks if the Saudis took reciprocal measures.
The attacks are a remarkable show of force inside Saudi Arabia and mark another embarrassment for the kingdom, after its US-made Patriot missile defense system failed to protect two Saudi Aramco oil sites from an attack by drones and cruise missiles earlier this month.
On September 28th, the Houthis claimed they had captured three Saudi brigades – a major proportion of the kingdom’s army. The group also says it was responsible for the oil attacks, but this has been disputed by western and European governments.
Saudi Arabia made no comment on the latest claims.
A Gulf coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, intervened in Yemen in March 2015 on behalf of the internationally recognized government after the Houthis ousted Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi in a coup as they seized the capital, Sana’a.