Back in September 10, 2020, the Saudi capital of Riyadh was subjected to a missile and drone attack from the Ansar Allah movement (also known as the Houthis). The Houthi’s count on the loyalty of the Yemeni missile and air forces. According to SouthFront, these groups announced that they were able to strike a “high-value target” in Riyadh by using a Zulfiqar ballistic missile and three Samad-3 suicide drones.
“The attacks are a response to the enemy’s permanent escalation and its continuing blockade against our country,” stated Brigadier General Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Houthi government’s Armed Forces. Sari made clear that additional attacks on Saudi Arabia would come if the Kingdom “continues its aggression and siege” on Yemen.
The Houthis unveiled the Samad-3 combat drone, which functions as a kamikaze drone, in 2019. SouthFront noted that the Houthis “claimed that it has a range of up to 1,500km.” SouthFront added that the Zulfiqar ballistic missile “is one of a variety of ballistic and even cruise missiles widely employed by the Houthis against Saudi-affiliated targets.”
A spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition confirmed the attack but did not provide any further details about the attacks, fearing that it could lead to international observers noticing how Saudi Arabia’s war efforts are not going so well. At the moment, Saudi Arabia is mired in a political and economic crisis.
Earlier in the month, the Houthis launched a series of drone strikes on Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia’s Asir region, which caused material damage to the facility. In Yemen, Saudi proxies have been forced to retreat thanks to continued pressure from the Houthis and their allies in the province of Marib. The Houthi forces were able to successfully cut off the highway between the provincial capital and a critical base for the Saudi-backed forces, the Maas base. Should the Maas base fall, the defense of the Saudi forces in this part of the province should implode.
The conflicts in Yemen has proven to be a humanitarian disaster, with estimates of 10 million Yemenis facing acute food shortages. According to the U.N., approximately 230,000 Yemenis have perished the conflict. Ivan Eland observed at the American Conservative that airstrikes launched by the Saudis and their coalition partners brought about 62 percent of the civilian casualties in combat. This has been a bad look for the Saudis and their coalition partners.
Geopolitically speaking, the conflict has turned into a bigger boondoggle now that a secessionist organization, the Southern Transitional Council, has formed thanks to backing from the United Arab Emirates.
All things considered, the U.S. has no business partaking in this humanitarian disaster and should pull all aid and forces from this conflict. Let Middle Eastern actors clean up this mess and bring some political balance to the region.