Saudis “Losing It” As Yemeni Rebels Undermine the Kingdom of Sand

[ Saudi tribal force tasked with protecting Yemen border ; Yemeni Ballistic Missile Eliminates 150 Saudi Troops and Blackwater Mercenaries—Dead Include Top Saudi Commander, UAE Sultan ]

Saudi Arabia mobilises counter-insurgency units on Yemen border

ahram online

Saudi Arabia on Monday mobilised counter-insurgency units on its border with Yemen, official media said, after rebel strikes into the kingdom killed more than 80 people this year.

The decision to activate the four interior ministry regiments “specialising in guerrilla warfare” comes on the eve of a possible ceasefire and United Nations-brokered peace talks in Switzerland Tuesday.

“This is to support the military forces in combat when the situation demands that,” the Saudi Press Agency said, suggesting that the units would be a type of paramilitary force.

“They were also given powers of security forces in seizing, arresting, searching, chasing and shooting according to the legal procedures,” it said.

More than 80 people, most of them soldiers and border guards, have been killed in shelling and cross-border skirmishes since March, when a Saudi-led coalition began air strikes against Shiite Huthi rebels and their allies in Yemen.

The Huthis, whose stronghold is in northern Yemen, are experienced guerrilla fighters, having fought six wars with their country’s government between 2004 and 2010.

Backed by Iran, they over-ran much of Yemen before the coalition intervened to support local forces on behalf of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

The coalition on Monday announced the death of a special forces commander in Yemen, Saudi Colonel Abdullah al-Sahyan, killed in action in Yemen’s southwest.

He is one of the most senior Saudi officers to die in the war.

The United Nations says more than 5,800 people have been killed in Yemen since March, about half of them civilians.

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Yemeni Ballistic Missile Eliminates 150 Saudi Troops and Blackwater Mercenaries—Dead Include Top Saudi Commander, UAE Sultan

Troops, including commander of Saudi forces, killed in Yemen

150 Saudi-Led Troops killed in Ballistic Missile attack in Yemen

At least 150 Saudi-led troops and mercenaries were killed in a blastic missile attack on a Saudi military installation in the western countryside of Bab-el-Mandeb

The Yemeni army, backed by popular committees loyal to the Ansarullah movement, targeted a Saudi military headquarters in Ta’izz with a Tochka ballistic missile on Sunday night.

Among the 150 dead forces there were at least 42 mercenaries hired to work for the US security film, Blackwater that were killed in the attack.

United Arab Emirates’ state news agency also added that among the killed people there was Sultan Mohammed Ali al-Kitbi, who was killed in Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz.

Saudi-owned al-Arabiya al-Hadath channel also showed photographs of Abdullah al-Sahian, the slain top Saudi officer.

The Houthi fighters also announced in their own media that the two had been killed in a rocket attack on the Red Sea coast.

In the latest Saudi attacks on Yemen, nearly 20 civilians were killed across the embattled country on Sunday.

The clashes come as a seven-day ceasefire is to start on Monday at midnight in Yemen, on the eve of UN-brokered peace talks in Switzerland between Ansarullah and representative of Yemen’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Two previous ceasefires, in May and July, were followed by accusations of violations by both sides.

Yemen has been under Saudi military strikes on a daily basis since March 26. The military campaign is meant to undermine the Ansarullah movement and return Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, to power.

More than 7,500 people have been killed and over 14,000 others injured since the strikes began. The Saudi war has also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure.

Yemen is the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest nation and an estimated 80 percent of its population of 26 million need aid.