Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Huthi Rebels Using New Tactics on the Battlefield

As confrontations between Saudi forces and infiltrators enter its fourth week, information received from the battlefront indicates that the infiltrators have resorted to new combat tactics, including disguising themselves as animals after their previous ploy of using women's clothes had failed, as they try to penetrate the fortified southern Saudi borders.

According to the reports of Saudi soldiers from the battlefront, the small groups of infiltrators which are usually made up of 10 to 20 fighters tried deceiving the Saudi army by using animals, placing searchlights on them, and releasing them in various parts of the border strip so as to give the impression that these were moves by the infiltrators intending to attack Saudi military positions.

They stressed that the infiltrators also resorted to setting up ambushes, deceptions, and using animals' hides as disguise after they failed to disguise themselves in women's clothes for penetrating, outflanking the Saudi forces, and attacking them from behind.

These ploys succeeded at first, especially as the infiltrators were well acquainted with the area's topography and relied on the hills to discover the Saudi army's moves inside its territories which are relatively lower than the areas on the other side of the borders with Yemen.

It became evident that the military reinforcements sent recently to the battlefield and the intensive deployment of Saudi land forces, marines, and paratrooper brigades supported by "F15" and Tornado aircrafts and reconnaissance and Apache helicopters reduced the infiltration attempts during the past days.

Saudi military sources inside the battle described the infiltrators' direct assaults as "suicide operations that are impossible to result in any military victory for lightly-armed groups."

They stressed that the lines of retreat for them are totally blocked and anyone who tries to penetrate the borders and come inside the restricted military sector "will face either death or decide to surrender" and added that the most the infiltrators are seeking is to score human losses in the Saudi forces ranks.

Meanwhile, a high-level military official in the Saudi armed forces told Asharq Al-Awsat that the infiltrators' plans are not static but change continuously between hiding among the displaced, shooting from the back, or hiding inside the border villages' houses and attacking at night and stressed that the Saudi forces are confronting and foiling all these attempts.

During the first two weeks following the purge of Jabal Dokhan where the clashes first broke out, the Huthis relied on infiltrating in small numbers and groups of few dozens into the areas of the Saudi forces' deployment and therefore escape the air and artillery bombardment and then exchange fire. This was done on several fronts in Jabal Dokhan, Al-Rumayh, and the border Jallah village.

More at asharq Alawsat

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