Reuters reports: Fighters backed by an Arab military coalition seized the key city of Zinjibar in southern Yemen on Saturday, residents and militia sources said, dealing another major blow to the dominant Houthi group.
The capital city of Abyan province on the Arabian Sea had been a major focus of forces battling the Iranian-allied Houthis. It is the fourth regional capital they have won since taking control of the port of Aden last month.
Three soldiers from the United Arab Emirates were reported killed while taking part in the Saudi-led military campaign against the Houthis, UAE state news agency WAM said on Saturday. [Continue reading…]
IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports: The impasse in Yemen’s conflict appears to have been broken by the deployment of a powerful Emirati armoured formation: a logistical triumph that has helped pro-government forces push out of the southern port city of Aden and capture Al-Anad Air Base 48 km to the northwest.
The military deployment has not been announced by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or covered by the country’s media, but its scale has become increasingly apparent as more photographs and videos have emerged from southern Yemen since 12 July, when Oshkosh M-ATV mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles were spotted in Aden for the first time during the battle to secure the city’s airport.
The M-ATV is used by Emirati and Saudi special forces, but the vehicles in southern Yemen are crewed by men wearing civilian clothing, raising the possibility that they are Yemenis who have been trained and equipped by the Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing Yemen since late March in an attempt to reinstall President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
By the end of July it had become apparent that the UAE had deployed regular military forces. Two BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles were filmed by an Al-Jazeera news crew on 28 July and a Leclerc armoured recovery vehicle was photographed in Aden about the same time.
While these vehicles could potentially have been landed by the C-17 airlifters that the UAE confirmed were flying into the international airport, albeit on humanitarian rather than military missions, it subsequently became apparent that they were part of what must be an amphibious landing on a scale not seen in the Middle East since the liberation of Kuwait in 1991. [Continue reading…]