Last updated on October 5th, 2019
Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen said they have killed 500 soldiers of Saudi Arabia, along with abducting 2,000 others in a major offensive near the Saudi border.
While Houthis have provided little evidence to substantiate their claim, spokesperson for the rebel group, Yahia Sarie asserted that forces were able to “liberate 350 kilometers square” of territory during the attack near the town of Najran.
If the claims hold any substance, this would be a major assault on the Saudi Arabian forces considering the number of troops captured and killed by the Houthi rebels.
There has been no official acknowledgment by the Saudi officials about the attack, which the Houthis said had taken place over a 72-hour period. There is also no verifiable proof that backs their claims.
After allegedly assaulting the Saudi forces, Houthis issued a video footage that showed burning Saudi vehicles, and recordings of combat in a hilly area where Houthis were seen firing on Saudi armoured trucks.
Some of the dead and wounded soldiers could be seen in the video, with some identifying themselves as Saudis.
That being said, the video released is just opposite to the conventional practice of the rebel group.
When the attack was initially claimed on September 28, the rebel’s Colonel Yahiya Sarea announced that the abducted soldiers will be shown on the Houthi-controlled Al Masirah TV network.
Customarily, Houthi rebels would pressurize a soldier to stand before the camera and reveal his identification, and use them for bargaining against Saudi Arabia – however this time the rebels did not ask any of the soldiers to show their ID.
Moreover, forces of the Yemeni government, who are also battling the Houthi rebels, believed that the soldiers captured by the group were actually fighters recruited privately by the Saudi-led coalition to fight within the Kingdom’s borders.