The Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Yemen with a renewed energy following the recent missile and drone strikes on the Kingdom’s capital by the Ansar Allah movement (also known as the Houthis).
According to pro-Houthi sources, Saudi warplanes conducted over 60 airstrikes on different targets across the country during the past few days. They insist that the most of the targets that were hit were objects of civilian infrastructure. At the same time, Riyadh claims that it has been precisely bombing Houthi military positions.
For example, on September 12, the Saudi-led coalition announced that it had carried out a series of airstrikes on the Military Engineering Complex in the Sa’wan Suburb, east of the Yemen capital of Sanaa. According to pro-Saudi sources, the Yemeni Armed Forces loyal to the Houthi government, which controls Sanaa, were “manufacturing and assembling” ballistic missiles and combat drones. The pro-Houthis al-Masirah TV confirmed that Saudi-led coalition warplanes had targeted the Military Engineering Complex with six airstrikes.
On the next day, the new wave of Saudi airstrikes hit the countryside of Sanaa. They allegedly targeted Four drones at Al Dailami Air Base, a military research facility in the Weapons Maintenance Camp, a number of barracks and military posts in the districts of Bani Harith and Arhab, and a headquarters in the al-Sawad Camp.
On September 14, additionally to the Yemeni capital, the Saudi Air Force also conducted raids against Houthi forces in the province of Marib, where the defense of pro-Saudi groups has been collapsing. Clashes between Saudi-led forces and the Houthis have been ongoing across the districts of al-Jubah and Rahbah. However, the main target of the Houthi advance is still the Maas base. Yemeni sources claim that as soon as the base falls, Houthi units will launch an advance on the provincial capital. The Saudi-led coalition captured it in April of 2015 and since then it has successfully kept it under its own control.
Nonetheless, in late 2019 and early 2020, the course of the conflict with no doubt turned to favor the Houthis and Saudi Arabia found itself in conflict even with the main formal ally in the intervention coalition, the UAE. So, the Houthi government now has a good chance to take back the city and the entire province.
This development will become a painful blow to the Saudi leadership and became yet another piece of smoking gun evidence showcasing the failure of its military campaign in Yemen. In response, the Saudi Air Force will likely continue its intense bombing campaign aiming to level Sanaa and other big cities in the hands of the Houthis. The problem with this approach is that this very campaign forces the Houthis to conduct more intense and regular missile and drone attacks on targets inside Saudi Arabia itself.