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Conflict in Yemen

Discussion in 'Geostrategic Issues' started by Muukalainen, Apr 6, 2015.

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  1. Muukalainen

    Muukalainen New Member

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    I think it is time this thread was started. I believe in honest discussion; while it is unrealistic to expect people to completely forget there personal beliefs, I want this to be a discussion about the conflict and it's possible and probably repercussions. Thank you.
     
  2. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think this does merit some discussion. I'll get the ball rolling with some info I've been coming across lately. It looks like the UAE is interfering in the war directly with Leclerc tanks, BMP-3s, and other unique (or almost, to this region) equipment rolling around.

    Leclercs and ACLs rolling around, together with MRAPs.

    nortwolf_sam - "Леклерк" получил Ñвою первую войну

    Saudi special forces arrive in Yemen. I was mildly amused to see their AK-74s, since the rest of their equipment looks like it's straight from the USMC. The second link has some photos of the Nimr armored car, that is also part of the Saudi SpecOps assets deployed there.

    Берлога Бронемедведа - СаудовÑкие Ñпецы в Йемене
    bmpd - Ð‘Ñ€Ð¾Ð½Ð¸Ñ€Ð¾Ð²Ð°Ð½Ð½Ð°Ñ Ð¼Ð°ÑˆÐ¸Ð½Ð° Nimr замечена в Ðдене

    BMP-3s in Yemen.

    bmpd - БМП-3 в Йемене

    And something truly rare, a Humvee carrying the Kvartet ATGM module, which is 4 Russian Kornet-E missiles. The module is integrated (in theory) with Humvee and French VBL chassis.

    bmpd - HMMWV Ñ ÐŸÐ¢Ð*К "Корнет-Ð*" в Йемене
    Юрий ЛÑмин - HMMWV Ñ "Корнет-Ð*" в Йемене

    This is certainly a remarkable hodge podge, especially after we've seen the T-34 and Su-122 still being used there. Photos in the link. They don't look like museum pieces.

    https://thearmoredpatrol.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/t-34-and-su-100-being-used-in-yemeni-civil-war/
     
  3. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    A few weeks ago, the RAF traded production slots with the RSAF for the 500lb Paveway IV LGB to replenish stocks depleted from the Yemen air campaign. They equip RSAF Typhoons and Tornados.

    RAF Bombs Diverted to Saudis for Yemen Strikes
     
  4. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well it's official, pro-Western Arab regimes have decide to crush the Houthis. If Yemen was Ukraine, and Saudis+UAE were Russia, this would be front page news, and a huge international scandal. But anyways, it's hard to imagine them failing. And yet Saudi performance in the conflict so far has been decidedly lackluster, from apparently failing to shoot down most of the missiles fired by the rebel Luna and Tochka launchers, to losing losing modern armored vehicles due to lack of proper infantry support. So it will remain to be seen how well they do.

    Anyways, videos here.

    Берлога Бронемедведа - Панцер - арабен
     
  5. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    We have seen the reports of Saudi/UAE deployments of troops and armour to Yemen, but here's a good article from Janes about the deployment of a UAE armoired brigade to the area.

    Analysis: Emirati armoured brigade spearheads Aden breakout - IHS Jane's 360

    It discusses how the UAE must've conducted an amphibious operation at a dock near a refinery at Little Aden. The article believes that current evidence indicates two LeClerc tank battalions (due to the mixed presence/absence of the AZUR urban warfare protection package in a clip with 9 LeClerc vehicles), a battalion of BMP-3 ("seemingly without infantry") and supporting G6 155mm SPH (at least 1 vehicle present) and Agrab 120mm mortar carriers.

    It'll be interesting to see how this operation progresses.

    Feanor, do you have links about Saudi armour losses? I haven't seen a whole lot bar the general reports of 2800 - 3000 strong forces or WTTE.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  6. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't have total figures, but I do have links to pretty photos and videos of Saudi armor getting destroyed. Generally they haven't done too well. I've got photos and videos of Saudi M-60s, AMX-30s, LAV-25s, and maybe a Bradley, getting blown up by ATGMs.

    Semi-reliable info says that 12 Tochka and Luna ballistic missiles were fired at them in a single volley, and they managed to intercept a total of 3. Not sure how much damage they took, maybe not much, they've also taken fire from BM-27 Uragan MLRS. Basically the Houthis are not insurgents but a regular army, if rather outdated.
     
  7. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You'd think considering the formidable array of air assets against them, the Houthis ability to wage a conventional war would be severely degraded. Considering what you say, it'll be interesting to see (if Saudi M1's are deployed) if the Saudi M1A2 (I think they're being upgraded to SEP) fares. Also the Leclerc.

    Pictures circulating on Twitter show that the UAE have deployed M109 self propelled howitzers as part of the armoured brigade.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JosephHDempsey/status/630679627871162369/photo/1
     
  8. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    On 3 August 2015, BBC reports that 'pro-government forces in Yemen have launched a major offensive to oust Houthi rebels from an air base north of the port of Aden, military sources say. They say a number of rebels were killed as troops loyal to President Mansour Abdrabbuh Hadi and militia units stormed the strategic southern base. Al-Anad, 60km (37 miles) from Aden, had previously housed US troops overseeing drone attacks on al-Qaeda in Yemen.'

    Bipartisanpolicy.org has an helpful background article titled: 'Crash Course: Conflict in Yemen', that identifies who is who in Yemen.

     Houthis (also known as Ansar Allah): Yemeni rebel fighters named for Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, based in the Shia Zaydi-majority northern Sa’dah governorate. Houthis seized control of the capital of Sanaa in September 2014.

     Ali Abdullah Saleh: President of Yemen from 1978 (when he served as president of North Yemen until reunification in 1990) until stepping down in 2011 as part of an agreement brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in response to widespread protests against his rule. Saleh retains control over some of the country’s security forces, who are loyal to him and not his successor President Hadi. Saleh has allied with the Houthis against President Hadi. Although he is a Zaydi, the predominant Shia sect in Yemen, he led a Sunni-majority government and is supported among Yemen’s Sunnis.

     Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi: Formerly Saleh’s vice president, became president in 2012, and was forced out by Houthi rebels in January 2015. After escaping from house arrest, he fled to the southern city of Aden, where he is mobilizing his Sunni supporters.

     Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP): Militant Islamist organization, primarily active in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, formed by a merger of al-Qaeda’s Yemeni and Saudi branches in January 2009, with strongholds primarily in Yemen’s south.

     Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL): Sunni Islamist terrorist group active in Syria and Iraq, ISIS has expanded to Yemen under the name Sanaa Province, carrying out two suicide attacks against Houthi mosques in Sanaa in March 2015. Once an offshoot of al-Qaeda, ISIS broke off from the al-Qaeda umbrella in February 2014 and declared itself the leader of an Islamic Caliphate. ​

    There is at least a UAE tank squadron (i.e. company of tanks) supported by UAE armoured carriers. However, I am not certain if the people/infantry carried in these UAE armoured carriers are UAE troops or members of a rebel faction supported by the UAE or are they 'rebels loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi' in the Saudi led coalition in Yemen?

    My guess would be that there are special forces elements embedded with this UAE force in Yemen (for simplicity, I shall just refer to these as 'rebels loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi' in the Saudi led coalition in Yemen). In the August 6, 2015 report in IHS Janes 360 you have cited earlier, I have taken the liberty to provide another extract of below.

    'By 3 August the UAE had landed Leclerc tanks, additional BMP-3s (seemingly not carrying any infantry), at least one 155 mm G6 self-propelled howitzer, and Agrab mortar carriers. One video clip showed nine Leclercs driving out of Aden, meaning at least one tank battalion (squadron) has been landed.

    Some - but not all - the Leclercs in Yemen are equipped with the AZUR urban warfare protection package. The UAE is known to have bought at least 13 AZUR kits, so the presence of Leclercs without the additional armour suggests a second battalion has been deployed to Yemen.

    These tank battalions are presumably part of an armoured brigade that includes at least one battalion of BMP-3s in addition to G6 and Agrab batteries and all the associated support vehicles, including large numbers of Tatra trucks.

    Photographs from Aden suggest the UAE military has used the roll-on/roll-off terminal next to the refinery at Little Aden as its main beachhead. Its navy has several tank landing craft as well as two larger 80 m amphibious warfare vessels that were almost certainly involved in the operation.'​

    Of particular interest to me, is the AGRAB, which is fitted with the 120mm Super Rapid Advanced Mortar System (SRAMS), which is also in service in Singapore. The AGRAB is a SRAMS is mounted on a BAE RG31 vehicle. And this vehicle is fitted with an ammunition handling system, consisting of two carousels, capable of accepting various types of mortar bombs. A total of 46 bombs (23 bombs in each carousel) can be stored in the carousels, with two additional ready round racks, providing space for up to 12 ready bombs. An Auxiliary Power Unit is fixed to the vehicle to provide power to the SRAMS, fire control and air conditioning system during deployment.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
  9. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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  10. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think they intend to try and crush the Houthis decisively, to prevent it from turning into another festering conflict, like Syria, Iraq, and Libya. It will be a real test to see whether they succeed, after the lackluster show the Saudis put on.

    EDIT: A BMP-3 destroyed along with an MRAP. And some photos of the AH-64s.

    http://bmpd.livejournal.com/1430929.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  11. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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  12. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    It'll be interesting to see if this leads to an improvement in the quality of the Saudi armed forces. Up to now, they've been superbly equipped but ineffective unless led or backed by a more competent ally. This time, they're trying to fight a war on their own. Well, apart from a contribution by the UAE, also well-equipped but generally dismissed as ineffective.
     
  13. bdique

    bdique Member

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    From what I read in the news, it appears as if UAE is contributing significantly, including contributing vehicles for the 'thunder run' from Aden (Analysis: Emirati armoured brigade spearheads Aden breakout - IHS Jane's 360) as well as a recent release of a British hostage (British hostage freed by UAE forces in Yemen | World news | The Guardian).

    I'm curious to know why they have been regarded as ineffective. I'd thought that as a small nation, their contributions were pretty significant already.
     
  14. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well not so far. They've lost an Apache. Also some photo and video of Saudi vehicle columns getting shredded. The last two videos at the bottom of the link are UAE vehicles destroyed and captured.

    Also note the captured AK-103s. Those are the weapons of Saudi special forces. This doesn't look good.

    bmpd - Падающий ÑаудовÑкий Apache и ÑƒÐ½Ð¸Ñ‡Ñ‚Ð¾Ð¶ÐµÐ½Ð½Ð°Ñ ÑаудовÑÐºÐ°Ñ Ñ‚ÐµÑ…Ð½Ð¸ÐºÐ°

    Also apparently the Saudi commander of the 18th Brigade, general Abdul-Rahman al-Shahrani has died in the fighting. I'm not 100% sure this is true, if someone could get confirmation, that would be appreciated.

    Военный Блог - Сопротивление Йемена
     
  15. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well the fighting continues. Saudi and UAE forces plan to take the capital.

    Ждем фото - Берлога Бронемедведа

    Meanwhile, plenty of new vehicles, and new battle damage, photos coming out. The UAE Pantsyrs have shown up.

    ЗРК "Панцирь-С-1" в Йемене - Военный Блог
    ОÐЭ переброÑила Ñвои "Панцири" в Йемен - Юрий ЛÑмин

    Photos of the coalition offensive in Marib and Hadramaut.

    Силы ÑаудовÑкой коалиции в йеменÑком Марибе - Юрий ЛÑмин

    A captured MRAP.

    MRAP. Был... - Берлога Бронемедведа

    Destroyed Saudi armor.

    Ð£Ð½Ð¸Ñ‡Ñ‚Ð¾Ð¶ÐµÐ½Ð½Ð°Ñ Ñ…ÑƒÑитами ÑаудовÑÐºÐ°Ñ Ð±Ñ€Ð¾Ð½ÐµÑ‚ÐµÑ…Ð½Ð¸ÐºÐ° - bmpd
    Теперь "ÐбрамÑÑ‹" горÑÑ‚ и в Йемене - bmpd
    Очередные потери Ñаудитов в Йемене - Военный Блог

    Houthi Scud missile firing, interesting note it was later confirmed intercepted by a complex.

    Очередной пуÑк йеменÑкого ОТРК "ЭльбруÑ" - Юрий ЛÑмин
    СаудовÑкий ЗРК Patriot PAC-3 перехватил йеменÑкую ракету Scud - bmpd

    A Siebel Camcopter S-100 shot down in Yemen.

    25.08.2015 в Йемене был Ñбит беÑпилотник Camcopter S-100: militarizm
     
  16. peterAustralia

    peterAustralia New Member

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    Am I alone in thinking that the Saudi decision to put troops into Yemen is unwise. Assuming the Saudis and the government capture more and more territory, the Houthis are likely going to fight a guerrilla war for decades to come. The population of Yemen is 24 million, thats going to give the Houtis a large cache of young men each year that are willing to fight. I do realise that Houtis are only a part of the population (is it about half?), and there are other tribes/sects invloved.

    The mountainous terrain, the large number of recruits, the stock of advanced anti tank guided missiles, to some extent the support of a backer in Iran, this could end up very very badly for Saudi Arabia, cost a lot of money, and get a lot of people killed.

    Was suprised that they just did not think it best to keep out of the mess. Even assuming that a pro iranian and anti-saudi government took power in Yemen, given Yemen's poor economy, lack of water, population problems etc, you would think that Yemen would be mostly worrying about its internal problems, and not inclined to go through the empty quarter of the Saudi desert and start causing problems there.

    Do many Saudi civillians live close to the border with Yemen, I have zero idea.

    I know the Houthis attacked some Saudi border posts, my understanding (not sure if I am right or not), was that this was in response to Saudi air strikes.

    My gut feeling is that this is a bad bad move by Saudi Arabia, I suspect they are going to get into a mess and end up fighting a messy guerrilla war which they have no hope of winning. I have a very bad feeling about this, and suspect the Saudi Arabia will in time greatly regret getting involved.
     
  17. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    I don't have much sympathy for the Saudis as they responsible for a lot of the crap going on in the ME today. As for getting involved in Yemen, I don't they had much choice. Having a terrorist sanctuary on your border does not make for a secure situation. No doubt the Saudis know this from their co-conspirators in Pakistan. Their terrorist creation (Taliban) has come back to bite them in the a$$. I guess the West will have to help Saudi Arabia resolve this mess, not that we have been doing a great job in that regard.
     
  18. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I mean... the Saudis support ISIS. So... they can't be that worried about terrorism. ;)

    I have to wonder though, so far they're taking a beating and progressing fairly slowly. Will it even to the guerilla warfare stage, or will the Houthis retain near-total control of the countryside and be able to launch military style assaults on Saudi and UAE troops? I mean they haven't even managed to shut down Houthi ballistic missile capabilities.
     
  19. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    They are taking a beating and if regular excursions into Saudia Arabia from Yemen to destroy oil infrastructure becomes significant then how long will the West tolerate this? Probably somewhat longer now that the U.S. Is energy independent.
     
  20. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well how long will the US tolerate Saudi support of ISIS? :D

    But on a serious note, oil prices are low and dropping. How much damage would the Houthis have to do to reverse this? I think quite a lot. Especially with Iran entering the market.

    Also from a military standpoint, what do you guys think? Will the Saudis and UAE be able to take and occupy Yemen? Or will they run out of steam before that?