Not only is DefenseOne stating for the record that the Houthis have destroyed at least 20 M-1 Abrams main battle tanks (and doubtless more older M-60 tanks, M113 and Bradley armored vehicles), it's also admitting to its affluent defense contractor or military member readership that the Saudi war in Yemen remains "wildly underreported". The reasons for the mainstream media's lack of focus on the Yemen conflict are many: it is less accessible than Syria's civil war to outside journalists, Saudi bombs which kill Yemeni civilians at schools and hospitals are manufactured in the U.S. or UK making those governments look bad, and the Kingdom has recently intensified its public relations efforts and manipulation of Twitter to push less favorable stories down in search results while demonizing the Shi'a Houthis and the spectre of Iran behind them.
Despite 100s of millions spent annually on PR by Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's propaganda campaign, which is highly visible under the #Yemen and #Houthis hashtags, has yet to produce evidence of a single Iranian Revolutionary Guards soldier or spy caught in the Houthis ranks. The best the Saudis have been able to come up with is captured dhows (Arab sailing vessels traditionally used for fishing and smuggling) with Iranian arms and a single video of a Hezbollah instructor teaching the Houthis how to destroy Saudi tanks. Or propaganda videos like this one, in which a high ranking Iraqi Shi'a cleric vows his men and Lebanese Hezbollah are ready to fight Saudi aggressors alongside Yemenis :
Last week when writing about the large amount of arms and jihadi manpower the Saudis and Qataris were pouring into their proxy offensive against Syrian government-held Aleppo, we warned that blowback against the Sauds on their home soil was coming. While Hillary backing Deep State hardliners such as former CIA deputy director Mike Morell boast about'killing Russians and Iranians' via Langley proxies in Syria, the prospect of U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) soldiers in being targeted in the Levant or Yemen in retaliation doesn't seem to have crossed Morell's mind (and notably Charlie Rose, Morell's host, didn't bother to ask "what happens when the other side strikes back?"). Nor does it seem to have occurred to Morell that a country like Iran which lost hundreds of thousands in the Iran-Iraq war may have a higher capacity for taking casualties than America's pampered, oil revenue-spoiled Sunni Persian Gulf state allies -- who are going to show Assad and the mullahs' who's the boss of the Mideast any day now.
That is, the bulk of the young men in Saudi Arabia willing to die if not for their country and its infamously decadent princes than for Salafist/Wahhabist Islam would seem to be already fighting in Syria -- under the banners of Jabhat al-Nusra (the Syrian Al-Qaeda franchise now rebranded as 'ex' AQ) and the Islamic State. The piss poor combat performance of the Saudi Army and Saudi border guards who are routinely routed by Houthi light infantry equipped with little more than AKs and a few RPGs or heavy machine guns testifies to this reality. Speaking about the Houthis who like the fierce Pashtuns the CIA once enlisted in service of bleeding the Soviet Empire "love to fight", retired Defense Intelligence Agency analyst Col. Patrick Lang had this to say in his recent blog post "Saudi Arabia is Our Most Worthless Ally":
The weakness of the Saudis and their Gulf Cooperation Council allies when forced into battle themselves rather than fighting the Syrian Arab Army to the last Syrian was further illustrated last week. Despite a virtual news blackout by the Establishment U.S./UK media regarding Saudi casualties and defeats, Assad government and Iranian friendly media outlets such as Al-Masdar News have been getting the truth out about the extent of Houthi raids inside southwestern Saudi Arabia. Beyond assaults on border posts or ambushes of government or military convoys which have become a routine occurrence, the Houthis have counter-invaded the Saudi Kingdom to depths beyond 10 or 15 kilometers from the border. As proof of their recent incursion to within sight of Najran city, pro-Houthi social media have tweeted out photos of a prominent skyscraper in the city of a quarter million people taken in the last few days.
While the Houthis and Yemeni Republican Guard forces probably lack the troop strength to actually seize Najran, being able to effectively besiege it and kill large numbers of Saudi troops and knock out armor sent to reinforce the city will keep the pressure on Riyadh. As we reported last week in our blog post about the battle for Aleppo, Al Masdar News' pseudonymous Yemen correspondent 'TonyToh' has hinted at the destroyed or grounded Yemeni Air Force returning to battle against the Saudi occupiers, quite possibly through the use of missile or bomb-dropping drones. Which country will be providing those combat drones to the Yemenis, besides Iran, is of course an interesting question -- as is the role that the Chinese (Russian GRU SIGINT station hosting?) base at Djibouti across the Bab al-Mandeb strait from Yemen may have played in bolstering the technical capacities and intelligence of the Yemeni resistance. In particular, with the United Arab Emirates already pulling out of any direct combat roles with the Houthis and the Qataris apparently losing killed or wounded soldiers to Houthi attacks while defending the Saudi Kingdom's southwestern borderlands...the Yemenis may step up their targeting of GCC allies and (post)Western mercenaries in Riyadh's service.
The Russia Analyst's Summary Conclusions About the Direction of the Yemen War:
Last week we reached out to 'W the Intelligence Insider', a man who knows a thing or two about proxy wars, having known CIA officers who assisted the mujaheddin in the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. If anyone would recognize the playbook the CIA once used to bring down the Evil Empire being turned by the Russians and Iranians against the Outhouse of Saud's tottering petrodollar Kingdom, it would be Team Rogue Money's mentor 'W'. Particularly at a time when the Saudis are doubling down on their failed investment in the Syria jihad, how difficult would it be for the Russians to return the favor and start supplying the Houthis with more anti-tank and MANPAD weapons to counter the arms the CIA and Riyadh are pouring into the Aleppo battle? The answer according to those who purport to have sources in Yemen, is that Russian weapons are indeed flowing to the Yemeni Army and Houthis via Oman.
Interestingly enough for RogueMoney's readership, the analogy 'W' used for what happens next in the Mideast came from the Bible, specifically an episode in the life of Samson in the Book of Judges, chapter 15 (NKJV):
The Houthi tribesmen are surely 'wild asses' of men in the Biblical sense, and the war turning against the Saudis is certainly being waged by young men seeking vengeance for the children bombed and killed by the Wahhabist Kingdom. More importantly for geopolitics outside the poorest country in the Arab world invaded and bombed by its rich neighbor, the Saudis' inability to hide their humiliating defeats at the hands of the Yemenis is going to have profound consequences for the stability of the Saudi monarchy itself (see "After Turkey's Failed Putsch, Is Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed the Next in Line to Get Coup'd Over the Disastrous War in Yemen?"). Last 'W' confirmed what the Russia Analyst and V's new source in the Mideast have told us, that the risk of a palace coup against the person of Crown Prince Mohammed and his disastrous wars of aggression against Syria and Yemen is very real, and it could happen quite soon.