Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 07, 2015

Into The Cauldron - Saudi And UAE Troops Invade Yemen

While many "western" media missed it, we reported that one brigade of regular United Arab Emirate troops invaded Yemen through the port of Aden. Videos from Yemen show large columns of French build Leclerc tanks and other modern UAE equipment. The Saudi and UAE spokesperson declared that they only brought equipment for Yemenis but that can not be true. The tanks will certainly be operated by people with the necessary extensive training on these expensive high tech vehicles, not with fresh off the street recruits with a few weeks of basic training.

After taking Aden the UAE military, some Yemeni infantry forces trained over the last months outside the country and some local southern separatist groups moved north and attacked the Al Anad airbase held by the Houthi militia and parts of the Yemeni army loyal to former president Saleh. After only a few short skirmishes the Houthi retreated and the UAE troops moved into the base. They then moved further north  towards Taiz.

But the UAE military is not the only force invading Yemen.


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With again few mentions in the media a Saudi brigade invaded Yemen from the north and moved from Sharoah in Saudi Arabia to AlAbr District and from there west towards Marib:

"Dozens of tanks, armoured vehicles and personnel carriers, as well as hundreds of Yemeni soldiers trained in Saudi Arabia, arrived in Yemen overnight" via the Wadia border post in the north of the country, a Yemeni military source told AFP.

I guestimate that the Saudi unit is likely to be about the same size as the UAE one. Each has about one regular mechanized brigade of some 3,000 to 4,000 troops with several battalions of freshly trained Yemeni infantry troops and local mercenaries attached to it.

The strategic target of this two-pronged attack is the capitol Sanaa currently held by the Houthi. They are to be pushed back north into their home province Sadah.

For the invading force the easy part is over. This will now be literally an uphill battle. The capitol and the approaches the Saudi and UAE military will have to take are mountainous. The roads there are easy to block and in such confined space, as the Israelis learned in Lebanon 2006, huge main battle tanks are simply sitting ducks to be killed by small anti-tank teams.

There is also an unknown factor in the form of AlQaeda in the Arab Peninsula which rules disguised as "Sons of Hadramaut" that eastern province and the harbor city Mukalla. AQAP just expressed its comfort with Yemeni culture and religion by blowing up a 700 year old mosque in the area.

Some months ago AQAP received weapons from Saudi Arabia to hold up the Houthis but its loyalty towards the Saudis and UAE is very dubious. There are confirmed reports that AQAP has taken over some towns near to Aden and now rumors that AQAP has a presence in Aden and wants to take that big harbor city. Will the UAE troops be comfortable with an uncontrollable AQAP sitting right on their main supply line?

The Wadia border station the Saudis used to cross into Yemen is also not safe. About a year ago two Saudi soldiers were killed there when some AQAP types attacked from Yemen.

There are also Islamic State forces in Yemen and an ISIS aligned group in Saudi Arabia took credit for yesterday's suicide bombing which killed some 17 Saudi security personal in Abha near the border with Yemen.

The troops invading Yemen will not only have to watch out for Houthi traps and ambushes when they move up into the mountains towards Sanaa. They will also have to intensively watch their backs. Has the "young general", as the Saudi Minister of Defense is mocked now, any idea of the cauldron his troops are getting into?

Posted by b on August 7, 2015 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

Comments

...
AQAP just expressed its comfort with Yemeni culture and religion by blowing up a 700 year old mosque in the area.
...

How very "Israeli" of them.
It's easy to forget how much Al-CIA-duh and ISIS hate Israel. Luckily, they can't resist the temptation to keep reminding us that their hatred of "Israel" is dwarfed by their common hatred of Arab Culture.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 7, 2015 1:16:34 PM | 1

If you are going to designate these Yemeni, Saudi and UAE mixed forces as 'Invading Troops' you have to also use the same metric to describe the Hezbollah, Iranian and Iraqi militias in Syria as invading troops. Both groups are authorized by the recognized governments of each country to enter their land to assist them in the conflict.

I don't think that even Iran has recognized Ansar Allah as the legitimate government in Yemen, just a combatant force.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 7, 2015 1:23:22 PM | 2

the Gulf states and the US appear intent upon denying Ansar Allah international recognition, but we don't know anything about Iran's position. Link Wayout

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 7, 2015 1:59:18 PM | 3

If you are going to designate these Yemeni, Saudi and UAE mixed forces as 'Invading Troops' you have to also use the same metric to describe the Hezbollah, Iranian and Iraqi militias in Syria as invading troops. Both groups are authorized by the recognized governments of each country to enter their land to assist them in the conflict.
---------------
in a legal bullshit sense, yes

Posted by: aaaaa | Aug 7, 2015 2:39:19 PM | 4

The interesting thing about these developments is that we are seeing the first combat deployment of the Saudi led Joint Arab Military Force and so far they have been quite effective. They may march into a 'Caldron' if the Houthis even know what that means or if they can use tactical retreat and flanking maneuvers to encircle the AMF troops.

@3

Iran's position is unclear to me also, it's difficult to prove a negative.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 7, 2015 2:57:08 PM | 5

At last, returning to the front lines advising the UAE ...

US Elite Military Taking Mercenary Jobs In Abu Dhabi

Gen. McChrystal following in footsteps of Erik Prince of Blackwater into an Advisory Job for the Royal Family in the UAE.

McChrystal Working for UAE-Owned Arms Brokerage

(Defense News) Dec. 13, 2012 - Corporate records show that Knowledge International was registered in Delaware in 2010 by Hussein Ibrahim Al Hammadi, the U.S.-educated CEO of EAI. Hammadi, according to one of the U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks, "is a retired Colonel with the UAE Special Operations Command and has close ties to the Abu Dhabi Al Nahayan royal family." An email and a phone call to EAI were not returned.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 7, 2015 4:03:16 PM | 6

OT
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33825861
UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will be asked to prepare a plan for an inquiry.

The vote came after the US and Russia agreed on the final text of the resolution.

A mission to eliminate Syria's chemical arsenal was set up after a deadly attack outside Damascus in August 2013.

Late last year, the OPCW declared it had removed or destroyed all 1,180 tonnes of declared toxic agents and precursor chemicals.
(I can't understand why Russia didn't veto this. okie)

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 7, 2015 4:37:37 PM | 8

And overseeing/directing this invasion force of Mid East tyrannies, is the 'indefensible' nation - the US - making sure that that war crimes are as effective as possible. You know just like in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And thanks the b for the story. No one seems to do the wide reading and then summery, as well as himself.

Posted by: tom | Aug 7, 2015 5:21:14 PM | 9

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have fallen into a trap carefully set by Iran...
The Saudi and UAE troops will be stuck in Yemen fighting the Houthis and AlQaeda for a long and exhausting time.
After Turkey's imperialistic face and USA's impotence have finally been confirmed, overwhelmed Saudi Arabia is looking for a face saving exit in Syria. Russia is the savior..

Posted by: Virgile | Aug 7, 2015 5:31:07 PM | 10

Saudis are making the same mistake as Soviets in Afghanistan. They do not understand that unless they kill enemy soldiers en mass conquering territory is useless in mountainous areas without local support. US did not learn it either. Young prince played too many video games and wants to have his mission accomplished parade.

Posted by: Kalen | Aug 7, 2015 6:44:17 PM | 11

okie farmer @ 9:-

The wording of the UNSC resolution (still not available on the website but reported by Reuters yesterday) is interesting:-

The investigation will "identify to the greatest extent feasible individuals, entities, groups, or governments who were perpetrators, organizers, sponsors or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, in the Syrian Arab Republic." The word "sponsors" only makes sense in the context of a foreign government sponsoring non-state actors.

In the earlier OPCW investigations into the 2013 sarin attacks, all the investigators had to do was to test for sarin in rockets and in blood samples from the survivors. As only the regime was known to have sarin, it was easy to point the finger at the regime without OPCW stating an explicit conclusion.

A formal investigation to lay blame would have to consider other lines of evidence: where were the rockets fired from, what synthetic pathway was used to make the sarin, and crucially the UN Special Representative's finding that the al-Nusra Front was bringing CW products through the border from Turkey. There's also smoking gun evidence from analysis of the videos that most of the victims were massacred captives, one of whom woke up in the morgue and had his throat cut by the rebel "first responders".

It's possible that Russia, which helped to draft the final version of this resolution, has laid a trap for the US.

Posted by: pmr9 | Aug 7, 2015 7:42:11 PM | 12

@12

We know that the Syrian government had sarin, we know that sarin was used on people in Syria. Everything else that has been reported about this and other incidents is speculation and rumor.

I doubt this new commission will provide answers because too much time has passed, that may be why Russia is no longer blocking the investigation.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 7, 2015 9:16:43 PM | 13

Look up the Battle of Mang Yang Pass (or An Khe) to see what happens to armor heavy units negotiating mountainous terrain with uncertain supply lines. The Saudis and UAE troops will have better aerial recon but defensive weapons available now are much better than those insurgents could use in the 1950s. Light infantry is what's needed when working in restricted terrain, but then the butcher's bill gets pretty high and I'm sure the Saudi and UAE leadership isn't interested in seeing its expensive mercenary force being savaged in an insurgency in a back-water province. Welcome to the big leagues!

Posted by: PrahaPartizan | Aug 7, 2015 9:22:39 PM | 14

It's the timing of the Sarin attacks that is so suspicious. It's hard to believe the Syrian government would deliberately provoke US bombing.

But that's all been discussed. Let's see how the inspection team is constituted.

Posted by: dh | Aug 7, 2015 9:26:16 PM | 15

It's not only about Ghouta but all chemical attacks before and after August 2013.

Taking at face value, may be part of a further negotiated political solution to the Syria crisis. Erdogan in Turkey isn't part of the solution but has clearly become part of the problem to launch attacks on PKK camps in border region and inside northern Iraq.

I clearly heard US Ambassador Samantha Power speak about "diplomacy in Syria." How I do hate HRC, Susan Rice and Samantha with her idiot professor of conspiracy.

Remarks at the Security Council Stakeout following the Adoption of Resolution 2235 on Chemical Weapons in Syria

Posted by: Oui | Aug 7, 2015 9:26:27 PM | 16

@16 Reading that it sounds like Samantha has the final report already written.

Posted by: dh | Aug 7, 2015 10:04:16 PM | 17

It's possible that Russia, which helped to draft the final version of this resolution, has laid a trap for the US.
Posted by: pmr9 | Aug 7, 2015 7:42:11 PM | 12

It's not the smartest idea ever, to go after people suspected of killing innocents in Syria using non-precision weapons. Obama is guilty of "accidentally" killing hundreds of innocents, in several countries, using "precision" weapons and drones.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 7, 2015 11:03:42 PM | 18

Rethinking Chemical Weapons

Steve Gowans debunks chemical weapons myths.
https://gowans.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/rethinking-chemical-weapons/

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 8, 2015 1:52:43 AM | 19

AQAP just expressed its comfort with Yemeni culture and religion by blowing up a 700 year old mosque in the area.
I don't know that I necessarily believed the story about the mosque. The twitterpic of the mosque blown up didn't look like the same site, indeed wasn't the same site.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 8, 2015 4:34:54 AM | 20

@Wayoutwest@2

If you are going to designate these Yemeni, Saudi and UAE mixed forces as 'Invading Troops' you have to also use the same metric to describe the Hezbollah, Iranian and Iraqi militias in Syria as invading troops. Both groups are authorized by the recognized governments of each country to enter their land to assist them in the conflict.

Wayoutofabrain "whataboutism" makes one want to puke. One wonders what kind of a shit-brain can produce such aberrational, ehem, "thinking." Clearly, Wayoutofabrain's "brainwashing" (a contradiction in terms, since you cannot brainwash a brainless entity), surpasses anything I have ever seen, including limbaughtomized neo-cons and wingnuts of all varieties. He is the new type of neo-zio-nazi zombie, multitasking for the zionist entity, the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, all at the same time. Wonder how much he gets paid for every excretion from his brainless head on chronic diarrhea.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Aug 8, 2015 11:34:18 AM | 21

The flaw in Wayout's comment wasn't brainwashed brainlessness. It was his substitution of the word "recognised" for the word "legitimate."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 8, 2015 12:31:25 PM | 22

I beg your pardon. That was too short.
The Yemeni Govt is "recognised". The Assad Govt is "legitimate".

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 8, 2015 12:39:36 PM | 23

Wayoutwest @ 5 says:

They may march into a 'Caldron' if the Houthis even know what that means...

'cause those Houthis are just a bunch of knuckle-dragging, cave-dwellers, right?

your unabashed racism is really quite vile.

Posted by: john | Aug 8, 2015 1:02:36 PM | 24

lets call a spade a spade.. wow is a propagandist for the west.. anyone who believes his bs may as well just go read the nyt, wapo or wsj and leave it at that..

thanks for the post b...

in other news... "President Hadi had been overseeing and following up on his forces’ progress from the operation room in Riyadh." yeah, right... got it...
http://www.yementimes.com/

Posted by: james | Aug 8, 2015 2:19:24 PM | 25

@9

' And thanks the b for the story. No one seems to do the wide reading and then summery, as well as himself. '

I can't add to that b ... and I certainly don't say thanks as often as I should. Thank you.

I do hope the KSA/UAE/Al-CIA-da-of-the-Arabian-Peninsula/ISIS do get cut off and boiled in a cauldron ... but looking at that line up and with the USA backing them as well, it's hard to see the Huthis able to pull it off. Certainly it will be a war of attrition for the invaders though.

And of course it's an invasion. No matter what the champion of Al-CIA-da/ISIS tries to put over.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 8, 2015 9:43:25 PM | 26

@ #26.
I second that. Considering b's tank commander background (and his unflagging devotion to modesty) I take his assessments of potential battlefield outcomes very seriously. I almost feel sorry for the Saudis and their delusions of grandeur. They've bought a lot of hardware and seem intent on using it to get themselves into a jam that hardware can't solve.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 9, 2015 12:51:52 AM | 27

Iraq invading Kuwait is bad, but the Gulf invading Yemen is good.

Posted by: Edward | Aug 9, 2015 12:19:56 PM | 28

@28

Yes, how times change. Remember what Osama bin Laden's response to US troops in the KSA was at that time? Now Al-CIA-da fights alongside ISIS and the KSA/USA genocidal effort against the Houthis.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 9, 2015 1:45:52 PM | 29

WayOutWest, an excercise in bullshit as always.

"We know that the Syrian government had sarin, we know that sarin was used on people in Syria. Everything else that has been reported about this and other incidents is speculation and rumor."

Complete bullshit from the ISIS booster. This is what happnens when one takes all western sources as bible truth and takes every other piece of evidence as "speculation and rumor". Because the fact is that:

"We know that al Nusra had sarin, we know that sarin was used on people in Syria. Everything else that has been reported about this and other incidents is from the well controlled western mainstream media."

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 9, 2015 2:20:01 PM | 30

hey! Wayoutwest!

this one's for you. you fucking troglodyte.

Posted by: john | Aug 9, 2015 4:18:26 PM | 31

Actually, with help from the KSA/USA airforce, the Houthis may have a chance against the KSA/UAE/USA columns advancing on Sanaa.

Saudi-led airstrikes kill 20 in friendly fire incident in Yemen


SANAA, Yemen - A Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Yemen hit allied fighters in a friendly fire incident, killing at least 20, Yemeni security officials and pro-government fighters said Sunday.

The officials said the incident happened late Saturday as the fighters were on a coastal road heading toward the embattled city of Zinjibar in southern Yemen.

The United Arab Emirates said Saturday that three of its soldiers were killed while taking part in a Saudi-led campaign.

The statement carried by the official news agency WAM did not say how the soldiers were killed or whether they died in Yemen.

The ruler of the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah led funeral services for the three corporals on Sunday. A total of five Emirati soldiers have been killed in battle since March.


The human drones in the Saudi/US aircraft seem as adept as the human drones in Nevada at killing the 'wrong' people on the ground.

As though there were 'right' people for the Saudi King and the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate to kill.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 9, 2015 4:33:25 PM | 32

JFL@32

Close air support can be too close sometimes and shit happens. You neglected to mention that the Joint Arab Army forces went on to take control of the city of Zinjibar.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 9, 2015 7:57:16 PM | 33

wow - fuck your bullshit.. you typify the american ignorance that is killing the planet..

Posted by: james | Aug 10, 2015 7:39:34 PM | 34

The article is wrong when it claims that "a Saudi brigade invaded Yemen". As the connected quote mentions, these were Yemenites trained in Saudi Arabia. Real Saudi troop haven't entered Yemen territory except for some operation less than a kilometer from the border to counterattack Houthi groups who had attacked them.

Posted by: Wamm | Sep 6, 2015 4:18:37 AM | 35

Sure Wamm,

no Saudi troops there. Except maybe just the 10 who were just killed in the attack near Marib? Those ten that were admitted by the Saudis?

And all those nifty Apache helicopter standing near Marib (2 burned out) are flown by recently trained Yemeni tribals? Must be very intelligent folks then ... handling all kinds of complicate machinery.

Posted by: b | Sep 6, 2015 9:50:46 AM | 36

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