Yemeni War Report – November 8, 2018: Saudi-led Coalition Achieves Several Successes In Battle Of Al-Hudayadh

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On November 3, the Saudi-UAE-led coalition kicked off a new large-scale military operation to capture the port city of al-Hudaydah from the Houthis and their allies. Prior to that the coalition had concentrated several tens of thousands of troops and a few thousands of various military equipment on frontlines near the city.

Additionally, coalition warplanes started a massive bombing campaign pounding Houthi positions as well as the city’s infrastructure.

Using their advantage in manpower, military equipment and firepower, coalition forces had reached the eastern, western and southern entrances of al-Hudaydah by November 8. However, coalition-led troops were not able to capture the al-Hudaydah airport, which remains a key strongpoint fr the Houthis.

According to Sky News Arabia, over 70 Houthi fighters and commanders have been killed since the start of the offensive. Pro-Houthi sources say that about 200 coalition fighters were killed and up to 300 were injured during the same period. Additionally, the Houthis reportedly destroyed up to 20 vehicles.

It’s interesting to note that Brigadier General Yahya Sari, a spokesman of the Yemeni Armed Forces, which are allied with the Houthis, stated that the coalition advance to capture al-Hudaydah had been repelled. However, this is a kind of wishful thinking given the current situation.

The coalition front east of the city is overstretched and vulnerable to attacks. Nonetheless, al-Hudaydah is at least partly encircled and while coalition forces maintain their positions east and southwest of the city, they pose a significant threat to the Houthis and can develop their advance further.

If the coalition were to capture al-Hudaydah, it would be the first major coalition success since the start of the year. The port city is a key logistical hub allowing the government to supply the Houthi-controlled area with food and medicine as well as other supplies.

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  • antonveckor

    http://www.patreon.com/troonatnoor THE MOST BLATANTLY RACIAL VILIFICATION & INCITEMENT TO GENOCIDE EVER CAPTURED ON CAMERA FILM ( LOXISM ) . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLdxmeELGbE

  • Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

    Houthis you CANNOT let them take the port!!!

    • S Melanson

      my post above is my assessment that suggests Houthi victory although qualified

  • S Melanson

    From article: “Prior to that the coalition had concentrated several tens of thousands of troops and a few thousands of various military equipment on frontlines near the city.”

    This seems more likely then 10,000 as previously reported as facts continue to be a fast moving target that is causing confusion – also why does article repeat BS about port getting aid as if blockade does not exist? Coalition want port for advanced staging area to launch offensives with secure supply by sea.

    “According to Sky News Arabia, over 70 Houthi fighters and commanders have been killed since the start of the offensive. Pro-Houthi sources say that about 200 coalition fighters were killed and up to 300 were injured during the same period. Additionally, the Houthis reportedly destroyed up to 20 vehicles.”

    Sky news Arabia is Coalition aligned media and 70 killed – this is a fair number but the numbers of Coalition is three times this and I posted earlier about the 3:1 casualties – the 200 killed is credible. However, vehicles destroyed may be higher than 20 based on Houthi reports and videos.

    The Coalition has been unable to make progress beyond entrances to the city – “Using their advantage in manpower, military equipment and firepower, coalition forces had reached the eastern, western and southern entrances of al-Hudaydah by November 8. However, coalition-led troops were not able to capture the al-Hudaydah airport, which remains a key strongpoint fr the Houthis.” [and in rear of coalition forces on west flank of port – and this was case in june and did not end well]

    Correction, Coalition forces reached the entrances of Hodeidah in first 2-3 days of offensive and unable to make progress in penetrating city – so initiated an enveloping operation that has not as of yet fully cut off the port. It was claimed by Coalition that enveloping was plan and not to enter city – but actual events suggest enveloping operation was a response to lack of progress – and the 3:1 casualties is consistent with coalition attempts to penetrate city which would be costly.

    So far, penetrating port is repelled, airport still Houthi controlled and coalition advance past airport to south entrance of hodeidah looks like progress but it is high risk with Houthi controlled airport in rear and flanked by ocean make the advancing forces vulnerable as was case in June where this happened and the spearhead coalition forces were cut off and destroyed.

    Now for some confusing prose:

    “Brigadier General Yahya Sari, a spokesman of the Yemeni Armed Forces, which are allied with the Houthis, stated that the coalition advance to capture al-Hudaydah had been repelled. However, this is a kind of wishful thinking given the current situation.”

    Then the article follows this with:

    “The coalition front east of the city is overstretched and vulnerable to attacks. Nonetheless, al-Hudaydah is at least partly encircled and while coalition forces maintain their positions east and southwest of the city, they pose a significant threat to the Houthis and can develop their advance further.”

    OK. The enveloping operation, as stated in article, has not completed its objective yet. Neither has the airport been taken and no progress entering the city while Coalition casualties well exceed Houthi . Houthi losses of 70 is light considering scale of operation and this coming from Coalition friendly media source.

    The offensive has not been repelled, but it is stalled with no progress towards any of the main objectives. The article also states “overstretched” – I agree. The difference between June and now is that the Coalition is failing to achieve any objective on a much larger front with a larger force. What is the same, as the article even alludes to is the same vulnerabilty due to overstretched coalition forces as was case in June.

    INote that the Coalition forces made rapid gains to the entrance of Hodeidah – this was also the case in June. The difference seems that they decided to bypass the airport and focus of eastern approaches to port, now an enveloping operation. Bypassing the airport is going to be a problem as it was for German forces bypassing Bastone during battle of the bulge. The enveloping forces in the spearhead are very vulnerable to 3 prong counterattack or cut off by attack further south along envelope flanks.

    I get impression initial success of advance caused some euphoria and when thing started not going so well the Coalition leadership pushed the enveloping operation to continue appearance of progress while claiming was the plan all along – yet clearly the media reports from coalition sources speak of progress in entering port (actually only periphery penetrated) setting up expectation of seizing port altogether – the enveloping operation may be good pr for now, but I do not think it wise – like leaving enemy in your rear with ocean on flank and front/other flank city proper that no progress acheived. Hmmmmm…

    I will predict outcome as a Houthi victory but with qualification – due to confusing reporting that has facts changing and so I cannot assess what the Houthis are really facing. However, the facts on the situation that are emerging and credible are painting a picture that is not good for Coalition prospects.

    Lastly, the Houthi calls for mobilization can be now explained. From my perspective, the US signaled a 30 day clock. The coalition knew before the announcement of 30 days as they did massive mobilization of 10 – 15 brigades in southern front. The coalition claiming 10 brigades then 10,000 additional reinforcements later became only 10,000-12,000 attacking port – this might have been a deception to confuse defenders and when it is discovered force much more sizable and I admit, more determined, throw Houthi off balance.

    Houthi will realise this is all out mobilization of coalition to seize territory before ceasefire. So Houthi mirror Coalition. Houthi announcements of all out struggle with coalition make sense in this concept.

    I believe the deception and better determination are Australian related but I am seeing the familiar mistakes so let us see if Houthis deliver a reinforcing lesson that did not sink in from the first lesson in June

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    Genocide masquerading as success. Taking the only port that can deliver aid to starving people of Yemen who are dying needlessly because the Saudi coalition (mercenaries) want to take something that doesn’t belong to them.

  • occupybacon

    Canon fodder! I bet many will surrender to the Houthis after the supply routes will be cut off. 3 Houthis with 7 ATGMs can stop this heard.