Jizan, Asharq Al-Awsat- A Saudi Arabian military official confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Huthi infiltration of Saudi territory is not something that occurred spontaneously but that this was an operation that had been planned in advance. Evidence of this can be seen in the Huthi insurgents shelling specific targets in an organized manner, such as targets located in a small village in the al-Harith region east of Jizan.
The source added that it has become clear that the Huthi insurgents are working to meet specific and predetermined military objectives, and this can be seen in their shelling of specific targets, as well as in the organized manner in which they engage Saudi forces.
According to military information obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat, a number of people suspected of collaborating with the Huthi rebels have been arrested since the beginning of the conflict. Those arrested are said to be Asian and Arab nationals. Sources confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that a number of Pakistani nationals who were working at a bakery in al-Harith were arrested on suspicion of collaborating with the Huthi insurgents. Sources also revealed that an Egyptian national was arrested on suspicion of having ties to the Huthi rebels.
Official Yemeni sources have indicated that the Huthis may have recruited people of different nationalities to participate in their military activities. According to reports in the Yemeni media, Somali elements are involved with the Huthi insurgents, and that they have actually been involved in fighting against the Yemeni army. These Somali elements are being motivated by financial assistance, with the Huthis exploiting the poverty and homelessness of the Somali refugee community that is present in Yemen. There are also reports that foreign non-Yemeni fighters were involved in the failed Huthi attacks on villages in the Saudi Arabian border region.
Huthi commander, Abdul Malik Badreddin al-Huthi’s website claimed that the Huthi rebels had shelled the Saudi Arabian military base at Aen al Hara with Katyusha missiles. However these claims are unconfirmed.
The Saudi military official reassured Asharq Al-Awsat that the Huthi military tactic of infiltrating Saudi Arabia in this organized manner may not necessarily work in the favor of the Huthi rebels but rather this offers the Saudi forces that are stationed in the border a tactical advantage. The military source said “We can now identify the enemies’ targets and rendezvous positions.” He added that the conflict with the Huthi infiltrators is taking place in open ground and therefore [Saudi] air strikes are able to cause heavy Huthi casualties.
Yemeni sources confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that as part of the Huthi insurgents plan to infiltrate Jabal Dokhan and the surrounding border region, two months before the beginning of the conflict the Huthis dug trenches in the nearby Yemeni border territory which they loaded with supplies and ammunition, and which they are currently using to hide from aerial strikes.
As for unconfirmed reports about the arrest of Huthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Huthi, the Saudi Interior Ministry’s Security spokesman categorically denied that the Saudi border guards had arrested the Huthi leader in eastern Jizan.
The Royal Saudi Air Force targeted Huthi positions with F-15 fighter jets and Apache helicopters. These air strikes were concentrated upon the border region, but eye witnesses claim that a number of air strikes also took place further in land but still within the 10km perimeter being enforced by the Saudi military. Al non-military personal have been evacuated from within this 10km area inside the Saudi – Yemeni border. Saudi forces also tore down a number of old buildings along the border, as they are being used by Huthi insurgents to hide in, and they allow the Huthi rebel s to outflank the Saudi forces and attack them from the rear.
Sources confirmed that the Jabal Dokhan region has been completely cleared of any remnants of the Huthi insurgents after a number of Huthi infiltrators launched an offensive against Saudi forces in this region on Friday, killing two Saudi soldiers and injuring five others. Medical sources revealed that the Samtah General Hospital received only 5 injured Saudi soldiers in the past 48 hours, and that they are all in a stable condition.
In recent developments, the General Director of the Border Guards in Jizan province announced that 17 [Huthi] infiltrators have been captured attempted to cross into Saudi Arabia in the past 48 hours. During this same period of time there were also 142 cases of illegal smuggling, with the border guards confiscating a variety of rifles and machine guns, as well as 287 hand grenades and a wide variety of ammunition.
As for the Saudi citizens who have been displaced from their homes, Dr. Mitab al-Shalhoub, the Governor of Al-Masareha told Asharq Al-Awsat that the relief camp has reached 60 percent capacity, and that the camp will provide compete services to the displaced citizens within the coming few days.