Saudi–Yemeni border conflict (2015–present)

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Saudi–Yemeni border conflict
Part of the spillover of the Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Map last updated in August 2016 (outdated and incorrect as of August 2018)
Саудовско-йеменский конфликт.png
Date2 April 2015[6]present
(3 years, 5 months, 1 week and 6 days)
LocationSouthern Saudi Arabia (Najran, Asir, Jizan)
17°29′30″N 44°07′56″E / 17.491667°N 44.132222°E / 17.491667; 44.132222
Result

Ongoing

  • Houthis and allies take control of a strip of Saudi territory on the border, ranging from Ghawiyah (Jizan) in the west to Al-Shurafa (Najran) in the east.
Belligerents

 Saudi Arabia

Salafist fighters[2]
 Qatar (until 2017)
 Jordan[3]
 Sudan[4]
 Pakistan[5]

Supported by:
 NATO

 Yemen (Revolutionary Committee/Supreme Political Council)

Commanders and leaders
Gen. Awad bin Eid Al-Balawi (Director General of Saudi Border Guard)
Saudi Arabia Maj. Gen. Abdulrahman bin Saad al-Shahrani  (Commander of 18th Brigade)[7]
Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi
Abu Bakr Abu Ahmed as-Salami
Brig. Gen. Hasan Abdullah Almalsi  (Commander of Houthi special forces)[8]
Abdullah Qayed al-Fadeea  (Houthi frontline deputy general supervisor)[9]
Casualties and losses
500+ Saudi civilians killed on the Saudi-Yemen border[10][11]
Saudi–Yemeni border conflict (2015–present) is located in Yemen
Saudi–Yemeni border conflict (2015–present)
Location of Najran in relation to Yemen.

An armed conflict between troops of Saudi Arabia and Houthi insurgents is taking place at the Saudi–Yemeni border, at the southern edge of the regions of Najran, Jizan, and Asir. The conflict began in response to the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.

Over the course of the conflict Houthis captured and/or destroyed many Saudi bases and outposts.[12][13]

Background[edit]

In the 2004 conflict with Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Houthis accused Saudi Arabia of pressuring Saleh to crack down on their community, funding it with US25$ billion. This was denied by Saleh but unanswered by Saudi Arabia.[14]

History[edit]

2015[edit]

On 5 May 2015, after shelling by Houthis of neighborhood of the city of Najran, the authority of the country temporarily closed local educational institutions and the airport.[15]

On 9 July 2015, clashes in the city of Najran killed two members of Ahrar al-Najran. Ahrar al-Najran fighters also seized a number of weapons and electronic equipment of Saudi Arabia's security services and destroying an armed vehicle and a mortar-launching vehicle of the Saudi Army. 15 Saudi soldiers were also killed when the movement launched a heavy attack against a military base in Najran.[16]

2016[edit]

On 31 January, Yemeni forces allied with the Houthis fired 70 missiles and mortar shells at Al-Qawiya and Jbal al-Dokhan military bases in Jizan province, killing over 10 Saudi troops.[17]

On 20 June, fighters of the Ahrar Najran movement reportedly seized Lookout Outpost in the south of the Kingdom.[18] On 25 July, Saudi interior sources informed of the death of five Border Guards who were slain by hostile forces.[19]

On 11 August 2016, after a 1-year border ceasefire, clashes began and Houthis gained entrance to the west side of Najran, Najran.[20]

On 16 August, Houthi shelling killed seven civilians including 4 Saudis and 3 foreigners in an industrial zone in Najran.[21] Two days later Houthi fighters advanced 15 km deep into Najran according to a source close to them.[22]

On 21 August, Houthis fired a Tochka ballistic missile at a Saudi encampment in Najran which killed at least 50 Saudi soldiers.[23]

On 26 August, a power station near the border was hit in a Houthi rocket attack.[24]

On 28 August, Saudi officials say a rocket fired from Yemen hit a family's home in Saudi Arabia, killing two children and wounding five other people.[25]

On 30 August, media close to the Houthi forces published a video showing clashes in the Asir region, with images of dead KSA soldiers and claiming dozens of Saudi Arabian casualties.[26]

On 4 September, a woman was killed and 2 people were injured after shelling across the border from Yemen. 3 children were also killed.[27]

Houthi forces captured three villages in Al-Khabuah area on 6 September 2016, according to a source close to them inside the Saudi region of Jizan.[28] On 12 September the Saudi Defense Ministry acknowledged that 3 Saudi Royal Land Force soldiers died and 2 were wounded by a Houthi Mortar Shell attack at a border position in Najran, while also claiming over 500 Houthi casualties since the operation began at the Najran sector.[29]

On 13 September, Qatar confirmed that three of their soldiers had been killed the previous night by Houthi fighters in Najran.[30]

In mid-September, Houthi forces, backed by the Yemeni Republican Guard, reached the last village at Najran's southern perimeter. Houthi forces and their allies were reported to be attacking the village of Nahuqa, where they were engaged in a fierce battle with the Saudi Royal Army and Hadi loyalists.[31]

On 24 September, Major-General Hassan Almalsi, head of Houthi special forces, was killed while attempting to infiltrate a squad of Houthi fighters into the kingdom's southern province of Najran.[32]

On 4 October, Houthi forces managed to destroy three Saudi Abrams M1A2 tanks in the Najran region.[33]

On 9 October, at least 25 Saudi soldiers were killed in a raid by Houthi and its allies near the town of Jizan.

On 12 October, Salafist fighters, including ultra-conservative Salafist leader Bassam al-Mehbar backed by air support from the Saudi-coalition took control of Al Buqa border crossing in Saada province, Yemen.[34] It is the second time that Saudi-backed government forces have tried to open up a new front against Houthis in the north by crossing from Saudi Arabia.

On 13 October, A Saudi spy drone was shot down by Houthi militias over Al-Qawiya military base in Jizan province. Meanwhile, a Saudi military vehicle came under fire from Houthi forces, while a Saudi soldier was killed by Houthi militia snipers in the Al-Rabiah area of Jizan.[35]

On 30 October, Houthi forces ambushed the Saudi Army convoy near Al-Biqa' Desert on the near the Yemeni-Saudi border after observing the latter's movements for several hours, killing scores of Saudi Army soldiers.[36]

On 1 November, Houthi militias claimed to have shot down a drone flying over the Ailab area in Asir province with an anti-aircraft missile. This was the fourth time in two months that the Houthis had shot down a Saudi aircraft.[37]

On 8 November, five Saudis were injured and three vehicles were damaged by a projectile fired from Yemen into the southwestern city of Jizan, according to the Saudi Civil Defense.[38]

On 10 November, Houthis claimed to have taken control of the villages of Al-Kars and Al-Dafiniya, along with other villages in east of Al-Bahtit and south of Al-Qarn. Sources also said that Houthi militiamen had captured a bridge linking Jizan's Qaem Zubaid and Al-Ibadiya areas and the road to the nearby Al-Khubah area. The sources also said that scores of Saudi soldiers were killed and injured and six Saudi armored vehicles and two combat tanks destroyed. Saudi army helicopters had bombarded the Al-Khubah area in response. However, the claim cannot be independently verified by Saudi authorities. Also earlier on that day, Saudi authorities said at least 14 people had been injured in Eastern Province by projectiles fired from Yemen.[39]

On 15 November, the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted and destroyed the missile targeting Najran "without any damage", Saudi Press Agency reported.[40]

On 19 November, a Saudi soldier was killed by a missile fired by the Houthis across the border into Asir province, the Saudi interior ministry said.[41] The incident occurred hours before a 48 hours Saudi-imposed ceasefire began.

On 22 November, one person was killed and seven others injured when projectiles fired from Yemeni territories hit a shopping center in Najran, according to the official spokesman of the Civil Defense Directorate.[42]

On 26 November, Houthi fighters said late on Saturday that they fired a ballistic missile deep into Saudi border city of Khamis Mushait in Asir region, targeting Allamuza military base. Houthis said the missile fire came in retaliatory response to the Saudi-led continuing air strikes on Yemeni cities. However, the Saudi-owned Alarabiya satellite TV reported that the Saudi defense forces intercepted and destroyed the missile in the air before it reached the city.[43]

On 1 December, 3 Saudi soldiers were shot dead by the Yemeni Army and Houthis at the al-Dhabra military base in Jizan, while another was killed in attack on a base in the al-Rabu'ah town of Asir.[44] The Rocket Battalion of Yemeni Army shelled Al-Hajir military Base in Asir on 8 December, causing damage to the military installation. It also launched missile strikes on military installations inside Misyal and Thuwaylah, inflicting loss of lives and equipment on the Saudi military.[45][46]

On the evening of 8 December, a Saudi border guard was killed when a landmine exploded along a border road in Jizan region.[47]

On 22 December, Saudi forces carried out a night-time military operation in the regions of Jizan and Najran killing 30 Houthi fighters.[48]

On 31 December, 25 Houthi fighters were killed by Saudi coalition airstrike in Najran region.[49]

2017[edit]

In the afternoon of 14 January, a Saudi corporal was killed at a border guards post in Najran region after came under attack as a result of shelling and intensive fire, the Saudi Interior Ministry said.[50]

On 18 January, al-Masdar News reported that since the beginning of January 2017, over 16 Saudi soldiers were killed by sniper fire in the Jizan region.[51]

On the morning of 1 February, one Saudi soldier was shot dead in Saudi border city of Jizan when Houthi militias fired from Yemeni territory, Saudi Press Agency reported.[52]

On 9 February, Houthi militiamen launched an ambush at Saudi soldiers passing through the Jizan Region, kilings scores and seizing their weaponry, the attack took place at Al-Hathira area.[53]

On 13 February, at least seven Saudi soldiers have been killed in the past week in clashes with Houthi fighters, state media reported.[54]

On 24 February, a Jordanian F-16 warplane crashed in Najran district, reportedly due to a technical error. The pilot survived.[55]

On 13 March, unconfirmed reports emerged that Pakistan intended to send combat troops to areas of southern Saudi Arabia close to the border with Yemen.[5]

On 19 March, at least 20 Houthi fighters were reportedly killed in an attempt to sneak into army positions in Souq al-Buqaa area in northern Saada province, near Saudi border, according to the Saudi-backed Yemeni Army.[56]

On 23 March, several Saudi soldiers were reportedly killed by cross-border Houthi missiles, the Houthi-run news agency said. Saudi soldiers were allegedly killed when rebel shelling hit military sites in Najran, Jizan and Asir provinces, a rebel official told Yemen's Saba news agency. However, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced the death of just one soldier on a border post in south Dhahran.[57]

On 10 April, more fighting was reported at the southeastern region of Asir with Saudi Army vehicles being attacked and casualties.[58]

On 16 April, one Saudi border guard was killed and three others injured in a mine explosion in Jizan province, the Saudi Interior Ministry said.[59]

On April 25, Saleh forces and Popular Committees sniped three Saudi soldiers.[60]

On 27 April, Saudi Interior Ministry stated that 2 patrolling soldiers were killed in Al-Rdhaa Sector in Jizan Region as a result of land mine explosion and projectiles from neighbouring Yemen.[61]

In the first quarter of the year 2017 Houthi Yemeni snipers reportedly killed 119 Saudi soldiers.[62]

On 11 May 2017, Houthis captured a Saudi military base in Raboah, Asir province, killing and wounding several Saudi soldiers.[63]

On 28 May, three Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Army personnel were ambushed by Houthis fighters, including a high-ranking officer at Asir.[64]

On 10 July, Houthi fighters blow up a KSA military building after seizing vehicles and supplies.[65]

On 19 July, more attacks on Saudi-backed personnel were reported including an IED that killed 3 soldiers.[66] The Houthi media displayed footage of Saudi Soldiers being shot by snipers at Al-Talaa Base in the Jizan region.[67]

On July 22, the Houthi forces launched a Volcano H-2 missile on Saudi Arabia targeting the oil refineries in the Yanbu Province of Saudi Arabia. Houthis and Ali Saleh media have claimed that the missile hit its target causing a major fire, while Saudi Arabia has claimed that it was due to the extreme heat that caused one of the generators to blow up.[68]

On July 27, the Houthis forces launched approximately 4 Volcano 1 missiles at King Fahad Air Base; the Houthis said that the missiles had successfully hit their targets.[69]

On November 5, the Houthi Forces successfully launched a Volcano H-2 on Saudi Arabia targeting the capital Riyadh which garnered worldwide media attention. According to a Houthi spokesperson the missile hit its target, King Khalid International Airport, while Saudi Arabia claimed that it had downed the ballistic missile before it hit the airport.[70]

On December 9, the Houthi forces repelled a Saudi-led offensive on their defenses in the towns of Qiwah and Hamda in the Jizan Region. Several Saudi and Sudanese soldiers were killed.[71]

2018[edit]

The Houthis fired ballistic missiles at Najran on 11 January and 20 January. These attacks were confirmed by Saudi sources, which also reported that both missiles had been shot down.[72][73] Pro-Houthi sources reported an additional missile attack, aimed at Riyadh, on 30 January.[74]

On 11 February and again on 14 February, Houthi fighters that had infiltrated into Saudi Arabia engaged in combat with the Saudi Armed Forces, near the city of Najran. The Houthis were repelled, with the Saudi forces claiming to have killed more than twenty of them, and destroyed three vehicles with their Apache helicopters.[75]

On 20 February, Houthi snipers shot and killed at least five Saudi soldiers in the kingdom’s Jizan, Najran and Asir regions.[76]

On 22 February, three Saudi-led coalition vehicles[disputed ] were destroyed in a failed attack.[77]

On 9 March, Pro Houthi Yemeni army launched an attack on a military site in Jizan.[78] This was the day after the Saudi-led coalition fighting Pro Houthi Yemeni army conducted airstrikes across Yemen that left 9 Yemeni civilians (including women and children) dead.[79]

On 11 March, Houthis launched a major attack on the Saudi army in Jizan, the attack began with artillery shelling that directly hit the ranks of the Saudi army. Meanwhile, Houthis targeted al-Marani camp and Saudi army positions in the village of al-Lahj. Engineering unit of the Houthis carried out an ambush and destroyed some Saudi-led force vehicles. The Saudi media acknowledged the deaths of 18 soldiers and wounded five others.[80]

On March 26, Houthis fired 7 ballistic missiles towards the Saudi capital of Riyadh, all of which were intercepted by Saudi systems. 1 person was killed and 2 injured as a result.[81][82]

Pro-Houthis al-Masirah TV quoted Saudi sources as saying that 33 Saudi soldiers were killed and 12 others injured in Houthis retaliatory attacks in the first 10 days of April.[83]

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