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Thread: Yemen in 2016-2018: an intractable war?

  1. #261
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    Default Update on Houthi SAMs vs. UAE F-16(s) - No Dice

    "Few hours ago, Houthi rebels tried to shoot down a UAE Air Force's F-16E Block 60 over Sanaa, Yemen by means of R-27T air to air missile launched from ground platform but they failed simply because the F-16 pilot launched flares."

    Source: https://twitter.com/BabakTaghvaee/st...61073078734854

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    'The Aviationist' & Taghvae.


    What can you see on this video (I've posted the link above): https://twitter.com/3gb_1/status/978...903754240?s=21

    ...a Patriot hitting some densely-populated place?

    Yes, like they always do - and although their own 'evidence' is proving them wrong, all the time.

    No clue why do they still insist on that legend.
    Yet you collaborated once with Taghvae, no? Is the town not big enough

    To be honest, I can't tell what is the Patriot and what is the Burkan from the videos, but the video you linked to shows a smaller warhead than the "fireworks" one, which would suggest a Patriot interceptor.

    Perhaps they are making the Houthis larger than life because the campaign has been harder than they imagined?

  3. #263
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azor View Post
    Yet you collaborated once with Taghvae, no? Is the town not big enough
    I tried to cooperate with both of them over the time, just like I always try to cooperate and support sincere research through networking.

    (That's, between others, why I'm meanwhile working as series-editor for four of Helion's @War book-series and helping with about 30 different projects covering diverse conflicts since 1945.)

    Sadly, it turned out one is horny for sensations, and the other not only prefers to fantasise along his illusions of grandeur, but is foremost a vocal proponent of specific supremacist ideas.

    #### happens, as they say: 2 on the 'minus side', 25+ on the 'plus side'...

    To be honest, I can't tell what is the Patriot and what is the Burkan from the videos, but the video you linked to shows a smaller warhead than the "fireworks" one, which would suggest a Patriot interceptor.
    Well, if a video taken in Saudi Arabia shows a missile being launched, turning around and then crashing next to the place where it was fired, it could be that the conclusion is on hand: that's no Burkan-2H.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    I tried to cooperate with both of them over the time, just like I always try to cooperate and support sincere research through networking.

    (That's, between others, why I'm meanwhile working as series-editor for four of Helion's @War book-series and helping with about 30 different projects covering diverse conflicts since 1945.)

    Sadly, it turned out one is horny for sensations, and the other not only prefers to fantasise along his illusions of grandeur, but is foremost a vocal proponent of specific supremacist ideas.

    #### happens, as they say: 2 on the 'minus side', 25+ on the 'plus side'...
    Interesting. I still believe that your location has spelled "Clapsback, Snarkland" wrong...

    I see that you cover Arab air force performance during Yom Kippur 1973, however, have you written much on IDF-IAF vs. SAM performance during the War of Attrition and in 1973? What of Falklands 1982?

  5. #265
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    Well, I certainly do not like being repeatedly plagiarised by somebody who tends to sensationalise superficial info - and then declares me for arrogant when I complain.

    Anyway, re. 'IDF/AF vs SAMs': you might want to check this one (something like a 'review' of what can be found there, is available towards the bottom of the thread here). A more in-depth study is to follow the next year.

    'Falklands' is kind of 'interesting to read about, but not interesting to research' from my POV: there are people in far better position to research and write about that topic.

  6. #266
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Back to the topic - and from: Yemen’s Terrorism Barrier - comes the best explanation for the crucial failure of the US, Western in general, but the Russian and so many other failures in the 30+ years of 'War on Terror' (of course, officially declared 'only' in 2001):

    Crucial points:

    Nadwa al-Dawsari discusses her recent Carnegie article on relations between tribes and Al-Qa‘eda in Bayda governorate.
    ...

    Michael Young: You recently wrote an article for Carnegie titled “Our Common Enemy: Ambiguous Ties Between al-Qaeda and Yemen’s Tribes.” What was your main argument in the article?

    Nadwa al-Dawsari: My main argument was that tribes are not in bed with Al-Qa‘eda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as is often perceived. On the contrary, tribes have played a critical role in preventing AQAP from establishing a strong presence in the country and I gave an example from Bayda governorate. I argue that tribes still see AQAP as a threat but have come to tolerate the presence of the terrorist group during the war because they—the tribes and AQAP—have a common enemy in the Houthis. The essence of my argument is that for as long as the tribes are forced to push the Houthis outside their areas, they will not be able to keep AQAP at bay as they did before the war.

    MY: How extensive is AQAP’s integration into tribal culture, so that it’s difficult to isolate the group from tribal society?

    ND: The common narrative among Yemen analysts is that tribes are armed, violent, lawless, and anti-state. This perception has often led people to believe that tribes offer a welcoming environment to AQAP. This perception is also quite common among urban Yemeni elites who look down on tribes and see them as “uncivilized.” In reality, tribes are far from lawless and they are governed by customary law, a very sophisticated and well-developed system that helped them deal with conflict and maintain order over the centuries until today.

    Just because the tribes are armed, it doesn’t mean they are violent. Yemeni tribes have arms, but they also have rules and customs that regulate the use of arms so that they don’t cause harm to tribal communities. Today, a tribal area such as Ma’rib, which has historically had an abundance of arms and a limited state presence, is relatively stable and safe, compared to Ta‘iz and Aden that had little arms before the war and are now devastated by violence and internal conflicts. The difference is that tribes have rules to govern the use of arms. Urban areas don’t.

    Also, tribes resolve conflicts through mediation and peaceful conflict-resolution mechanisms. They rarely resort to violence and only do so when faced with a direct threat to their existence or when they want to defend their territories. What AQAP stands for—the ideology, the violence, the desire to undermine the state’s presence—goes against the essence of tribal culture and customary law.
    ...

    MY: How would you judge the role of the United States in trying to contain AQAP in Yemen? Has it been effective, or has it made matters worse?

    ND: I think if U.S. counterterrorism operations were effective we wouldn’t have sees AQAP still present in Yemen today. The U.S. has relied on short-term security operations in Yemen, rather than focusing on the underlying causes that allowed AQAP to expand. The drones have indeed killed most AQAP leaders in the country, but the group is hardly defeated. The U.S. provided military support to the late Ali Abdullah Saleh to fight AQAP. But Saleh was not serious about fighting the group and instead used it to undermine his political opponents and maintain a steady flow of counterterrorism assistance from the West. This, in turn, made him a stronger dictator, which fueled the grievances that AQAP tapped into to spread and gain influence in the country.
    ...
    ...which in turn means also that:

    - the Saudi policy of depending on ideology-driven groups (like Moslem Brotherhood, various Salafist movements etc.) for regaining influence in Yemen, is as wrong as that of the USA, but,

    - overall war effort against the Houthis is the right decision, simply because the Houthis have completely destroyed the tribal structure in northern central Yemen (just like the Marxists did the same in southern eastern Yemen of the 1970s-1980s); while,

    - the Emirati strategy of cooperating with local tribes might appear as 'wrongdoing', and 'supporting separatists', but is the key to success.

  7. #267
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Houthi Missiles: The Iran Connection; Scuds Are Not Dead Yet

    The article asks:
    But are the Iranians really behind these, or are they modified missiles from North Korean in origin?
    I think this is a key passage:
    In this article I take a closer look at the Burkan 2-H and how its increased performance was achieved. I do this using computer simulations of ballistic missile trajectories, with missile parameters based on properties of the Scud from open sources and an analysis of photographs and a launch video. The simulations confirm the similarities with the Iranian missile: a Scud-variant with the size and initial acceleration of the Burkan 2-H can only fly from Northwest Yemen to Riyadh if it carries as much propellant as the Qiam-1. Other versions of the Scud do not fit the data.

    (Ends with) All in all, even without a detailed forensic investigation of the wreckage, it seems unlikely these missiles originate from anywhere other than Iran.
    The author is Ralph Savelsberg is an associate professor at the Netherlands Defense Academy in Den Helder, specializing in missile defense.
    Link:https://breakingdefense.com/2018/05/...-not-dead-yet/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-19-2018 at 09:39 AM. Reason: 117,074v
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  8. #268
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    Default Iran and the Houthis

    From "Proving Ground: Iran’s Operational Strategy in Syria" by Nicholas Hargreaves-Heald (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art...rategy-syria):

    Following the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, Iran began to provide extensive aid to the Houthis, a group of Zaidi Shi’ites from the mountains of Yemen who were engaged in a civil war with the Yemeni government and the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). By 2016, the Houthis had seized a significant amount of Yemeni territory, including ground bordering Saudi Arabia. Iranian support, which was intended to develop the Houthis into a massive security threat to Saudi Arabia, followed the classic Quds Force TAA formula. Iranian training (which continues today[30]) has reached thousands of Houthi rebels[31], including Houthi women who have been mobilized to fight invading GCC forces.[32] Interestingly, this training has largely been provided by Iranian proxy organizations, such as Lebanese Hezbollah[33] and Liwa Fatemiyoun, a group of Afghan Hazaras recruited from Afghan refugee camps in Iran. [34] Iranian military aid to the Houthis has included sniper rifles, RPGs, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), and various small arms, in addition to more sophisticated weapons technology. American officials have assessed that Iran has provided the Houthis with short-range, Iranian made Qiam and Shahab-2 ballistic missiles to attack Saudi Arabia, Iran’s principal adversary in the Arabian peninsula.[35] The Houthis have launched dozens of these missiles (and others based on their design) at Saudi targets such as the al-Yamama Palace (December 2017)[36], the city of Najran (March 2018)[37], the capital city of Riyadh (March 2018)[38], and the Jizan Regional Airport (April 2018).[39] Authorities have also assessed that Quds Force provided the technology for the Houthi’s explosive, remote-controlled “drone boat”, which they used to attack a Saudi warship on January 30, 2017[40], and the use of an explosive-laden Qasef-1 “suicide” drone to attack a Saudi Patriot batteries in February, 2017.[41] On top of this, Quds Force has been reported to advise Houthi leaders off the battlefield, and encourage them to launch kinetic operations against GCC targets. [42]

    There are, however, some indications that Iranian operations within Yemen are not limited to Quds Force’s standard TAA approach. Over the course of the last year, over forty IRGC (it is unclear whether these are Quds Force or IRGC-GF operatives) and dozens of Hezbollah casualties have been reported in Yemen.[43] While many of these casualties have been reported as the result of GCC airstrikes against Houthi targets far behind the front lines, almost a dozen have been reported to take place within a mile of active combat zones and front lines. Such casualties would suggest that Iranian forces are either actively participating in combat in Yemen or advising Houthi rebels close to the battlefield.[44] So far, however, there has only been limited evidence to support this hypothesis.[45]

  9. #269
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    DUBAI: The Saudi-led Arab Coalition targeted Iran-backed Houthi militia positions along the western coast of Yemen, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported.
    Yemen’s official news agency reported that the coalition raids killed 70 Houthi militants as Yemeni resistance forces advanced toward Hodeidah airport and harbor.
    It was also reported that 21 militants were captured, while Houthi weapons and military vehicles were destroyed in the raids.
    http://www.arabnews.com/node/1314641/middle-east
    Last edited by AdamG; 06-03-2018 at 07:10 PM.
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  10. #270
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default 2018 Red Sea Coast Offensive and the humanitarian disaster (two sources)

    A useful map and chronology via AEI.
    Link:http://https://www.criticalthreats.o...oast-offensive

    The Soufan Group has a 47 pg. report 'The Forgotten War: The Ongoing Disaster in Yemen'.
    Link:http://thesoufancenter.org/wp-conten...fan-Center.pdf
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-05-2018 at 06:57 PM. Reason: 119,365v
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  11. #271
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    Default The Battle for Hodeidah: Two Views on What’s at Stake

    Two experts provide some answers; with Gregory Johnsen and Fatima Abo Alasrar, from the Arabia Foundation.
    Link:http://www.arabiafoundation.org/arab...hats-at-stake/
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  12. #272
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    Arab states launch biggest assault of Yemen war with attack on main port
    Reuters / Wednesday, 13 June 2018 10:40 GMT

    * Saudi-led coalition launches attack on Yemen's main port
    * Houthis say they hit coalition barge
    * Port is main route to feed 8.4 million on verge of famine (Adds resident quotes, port activity, context)

    http://news.trust.org/item/20180613090136-veud3
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    Two thousand pounds of education
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  13. #273
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    As the media focus returns to Hudaydah, the key port for food supplies, this BBC News article has a map (too large to insert) on the current situation in the Yemen.
    Link to a background article:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-44471977 andhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-44491710
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-15-2018 at 11:46 AM. Reason: 120,707v today
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  14. #274
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    Default Al-Qaeda in Yemen says group will strike hard when time is right

    A summary of a recent AQAP statement via BBC Monitoring (no link is provided to the original source):
    Al-Qaeda in Yemen (AQAP) has released a lengthy interview with its leading figure Khalid Batarfi, commenting on various aspects of the conflict in Yemen and the jihadist group's current position and future plans. The written interview conducted by AQAP's media arm al-Malahim was published on 20 June via AQAP's media outlet on the messaging app Telegram. Batarfi has been the face of AQAP since most of the group's top figures, including its former leader, died in US drone strikes in 2015.
    Link:https://monitoring.bbc.co.uk/product/c1dpdb8k

    Presumably there are clues within for the expert and reader.
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    Via a Tweet by Michael Knights, with my emphasis:
    Lots of fronts operating right now. I would expect airpower to be ramping up a lot, and artillery support. It is not the sleepy optempo we had even three months ago. Elements of six Saudi Land Forces, SANG, naval and border brigades operating inside Yemen now.
    Link see:@Mikeknightsiraq
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  16. #276
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    Default Yemen: Houthis Hit Saudi Oil Tanker

    Stratfor Situation Report: https://worldview.stratfor.com/situa...mpaign=article
    Houthi forces in Yemen who claimed to be targeting a Saudi warship struck a Saudi oil tanker in the RedSea, causing slight damage.

    Why It Matters: Because attacks on oil tankers often alarm the international community, the incident could give the Saudi-led coalition a new justification for military action in Yemen.
    Di-JVVSVAAAUAzO.jpg Di-IiNpUUAEPt2x.jpg

    For Background:

    Stratfor Assessment: Missiles Remain a Potent Houthi Weapon (https://worldview.stratfor.com/artic...mpaign=article)

    • Despite continuous pressure from Saudi-led air operations, Houthi and Saleh loyalists in Yemen continue to pose a threat using ballistic missiles.
    • It appears that local engineers have been able to modify ballistic missiles to increase their capabilities, and continue to have access to stockpiles to further their activities.
    • There are no indications that rebels are near the indigenous production of missile systems, however. At this point Houthi and Saleh missile capabilities remain entirely dependent on existing stockpiles and foreign supply.

  17. #277
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Here we go again with the opening monologue from the ROAD WARRIOR playing over the evening news.

    DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea’s Bab al-Mandeb strait, one of the world’s most important tanker routes, after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway.
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ye...-idUKKBN1KF0WN
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
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    Two thousand pounds of education
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  18. #278
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    Default Assessing how the jihadis are doing

    A short paper (19 pgs) by Elisabeth Kendall, a SME on the Yemen and who has visited parts recently. The Summary explains:
    Regional conflict and internal chaos have allowed militant jihadi groups to rise and flourish in Yemen. This paper analyzes two f the most prominent such groups, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State in Yemen (ISY), by scrutinizing the factors that led to their respective ascents, and examining the challenges and pressures that have caused their respective declines. By comparing and contrasting their operations, respective styles of leadership, and varying levels of community integration, this paper charts the path of jihadi militancy in Yemen and assesses its future in Yemeni politics and society.
    Link:https://www.mei.edu/sites/default/fi..._Kendall_7.pdf
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-31-2018 at 09:52 AM. Reason: 126,137v
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  19. #279
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    Default Yemen: US allies don’t defeat al-Qaida but pay it to go away

    Hardly a surprise, this AP report covers several places in the Yemen.
    Link:https://apnews.com/f38788a561d74ca78c77cb43612d50da
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  20. #280
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    Saudis intercept Al Houthi missile Al Houthis have launched 176 ballistic missiles towards the kingdom so far

    Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s Royal Air Defence Forces intercepted a ballistic missile launched by Iranian-backed Al Houthi militia towards the kingdom, the Arab coalition command said in a statement. No injuries or casualties were reported.
    https://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/yemen...sile-1.2267700
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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