Najran, Saudi Arabia. Saturday, September 28th, 2019. According to Houthi media outlet Almasirah TV, military officials in Yemen are claiming that 72 hours after a combined-arms operation of the Saudi Arabian border-town of Najran, “thousands of troops, officers, and military hardware” were captured after Saudi forces surrendered.
While nothing has come out of the Saudi Press so far, the Houthis claim their attack resulted in the fall of “three military brigades of the enemy forces with full military equipment and most of its members and commanders”.
This involved “hundreds killed, injured and detained”. They also claim they’ve seized large quantities of weapons including “hundreds of armored vehicles”.
This is the largest conventional military operation conducted by the Houthis in the entire duration of the up until recently one-sided war that just entered its fifth year.
Treatment of Prisoners
While it is certainly in the Houthis’ best interest to be recognized has having and behaving with the moral superiority in this conflict, the news coming from Al-Jazeera, and Almasirah is that the prisoners have been transferred to “secure and undisclosed locations to protect them from Saudi air strikes,”
“All prisoners were dealt with in accordance with the principles of religion, customs, and traditions of Yemen and human morals,” says Almasirah.
“The Yemeni armed forces assure all families of prisoners of all nationalities that they will take further measures to protect them from the targeting of hostile warplanes and deal with them in a humanitarian way to reach a comprehensive exchange deal with the enemy”.
This is truly the largest success the Houthis have had since the start of the war. Following the massive Houthi strikes against Saudi oil facilities last week, they had offered to suspend hostilities in hopes it could persuade the Saudis to negotiate with Sanaa for a ceasefire.
However Saudi Arabia struck Sanaa and other targets in the North of Yemen with a large number of airstrikes shortly after that particular olive branch.
Bloomberg news reported Friday that Saudi Arabia agreed to a small ceasefire arrangement with the Houthis in several areas of Yemen including Sanaa.
If all of these reports are true, this could seriously improve the Houthis’ negotiating position. The group has said several times they “would accept nothing short of “a comprehensive stop to the aggression and the lifting of the blockade,” referring to the blockade of the Red Sea port of Hodeida.