Thousands of Saudi-led coalition personnel were killed, injured or captured by the Houthis and their local allies in large-scale ambush, dubbed “Operation Victory from God”
In an official statement, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari described the ambush, which took place near the southern Saudi province of Najran, as “the biggest luring operation” since the outbreak of the Yemeni war, defining its results as the following:
- First – defeat of three military brigades of the enemy forces with full military equipment and most of their members and commanders.
- Second – seizure of large number of weapons, including hundreds of vehicles and armored vehicles.
- Third – thousands of enemy personnel were captured, hundreds were killed and injured.
- Fourth – the captured service members include large numbers of commanders, officers and soldiers of the Saudi military.
- Fifthly – only 72 hours after the start of the operation, Houthi forces fully enforced a siege on the enemy, consisting of three military brigades of “traitors” and a faction of the Saudi military. They were completely defeated.
The Houthis spokesman said that the prisoners were treated according to Islamic rules and Yemeni tradition. The Yemeni group even sheltered captives from Saudi airstrikes which targeted them.
In the final part of the statement, Brig. Gen. Sari said that the operation is still ongoing and that more info will be revealed soon.
The Saudi-led coalition has not commented on these claims, so far. The coalition usually ignores its losses in Yemen, especially those inflicted on its Yemeni allies.
Brig. Gen. Sari summarized the results of Operation Victory from God, as the following:
- Houthi fighters captured 350 km2 south of Najran, including dozens of key positions.
- More than 500 Saudi service members and Saudi-backed Yemen fighters were killed.
- More than 2,000 personnel of the Saudi-led coalition were captured, including Saudi officers.
- Hundreds of pick-up trucks, armored vehicles, armored personnel carriers (APCs) and engineering vehicles were captured. At least 15 other vehicles were destroyed.
The Houthis’ spokesman also revealed that Saudi warplanes carried out at least 300 airstrikes in a desperate attempt to foil the operation, targeting even its own soldiers and proxies. At least 200 coalition personnel were killed in such “friendly” airstrikes.
“Our forces attempted to provide first aid to the enemy’s personnel who were wounded as a result of the airstrikes, but the continued sorties increased their losses,” Brig. Gen. Sari.
The videos released by the media wing confirmed most of the information revealed by Brig. Gen. Sari, who promised that more videos will be released in the upcoming few days.
Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group on Monday released hundreds of Yemeni prisoners in a unilateral move welcomed by the United Nations envoy, who hoped it would lead to further progress on an agreed prisoner exchange deal.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which facilitated the release, said 290 Yemeni nationals were transferred from the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa to their homes.
A prisoner swap between the Houthis and the internationally recognised, Saudi-backed government of Yemen was one of three pillars of a breakthrough deal reached in Sweden in December to try to resolve the more than four-year conflict.
The U.N. – brokered prisoner swap deal, involving some 7,000 detainees on each side, stalled as the two sides struggled to agree at talks on its implementation.
The Houthis on Monday had said they would release 350 prisoners from the Sweden deal detainee lists, including three Saudi Arabians, under the supervision of the United Nations.