A squadron of remote drones, followed by missiles, is a new strategy that military experts say the Houthis are using in their recent attacks to confuse Saudi air defenses and penetrate them to hit targets in the Kingdom.
On Sunday, the Houthis launched attacks against oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, in a new escalation targeting “global energy security,” according to a Saudi official.
The Houthis have stepped up their attacks in recent weeks, which come after their name was removed from the list of terrorist groups.
Military experts believe that what the Houthis did is nothing but an “Iranian message” that it is capable of tampering with the security and peace of the Middle East, and that Saudi oil installations are not far from the range of missiles and drones.
Experts pointed out that the recent Houthi attacks reveal a long-term strategic military planning that exceeds the capabilities of armed militias, indicating that Tehran stands by its alliance, to improve its negotiating position regarding the nuclear file and economic sanctions.
Seize the opportunity
Yahya Abu Hatim, a Yemeni expert in military affairs, said in response to The Eastern Herald’s inquiries that the recent airstrikes, using Iranian missiles, were carried out with direct Iranian planning and supervision.
He added that the Houthi group is nothing but a faction of the Republican Revolutionary Guard outside the borders of Iran, which is used to destabilize security and peace at the regional level and at the world level by targeting shipping lines.
He pointed out that the Houthi group is an important pressure card for Tehran, as it can be used in order to achieve Iranian goals, and at the same time, Iran will find Iran disavowing responsibility for any of this group’s actions.
The Saudi Ministry of Defense announced the downing of a drone that targeted the oil tank yards in the Ras Tanura port in the eastern region, and the interception and destruction of a missile fired at facilities belonging to the Aramco group in Dhahran, which was confirmed by the Houthis by targeting military areas in the Dammam region and in the southeastern regions near the Yemeni border.
On Sunday, the Saudi-led coalition announced the start of a military operation, the capital, Sanaa, and other areas.
The secret of drones
Military expert Abu Hatim explained that the Houthis’ use of drones with this strategy achieves several goals, as they are considered cheap in exchange for launching different missiles, and that they have the ability to bypass the radar if they remain flying at low altitudes.
Houthi drones cause material damage to some civilian homes in Saudi Arabia. Archives
He pointed out that operating the most squadron of these aircraft means that the Houthis are using “a strategy based on dispersion in order to achieve their goals, and they can travel long distances.”
It is likely that Abu Hatim, operating these aircraft in the recent strikes, was not aimed at reaching specific areas, but rather as a means of dispersal of air defenses.
The actual leader of the Houthi group !!
The Yemeni military expert, Yasser Saleh, said in a phone call to The Eastern Herald that Hassan Erello, the representative of the Revolutionary Guard in Yemen, is the one who manages the military and political scene of the Houthis.
He added that he uses the Houthis in high-level coordination with Tehran and its plans, especially those related to its relationship with the international community, the nuclear file, its development of missiles, and the file of sanctions imposed on it.
Saleh clarified that what the Houthi group is doing has nothing to do with strengthening its position inside Yemen, or its war with the various parties inside the country.
And Erillo, the representative of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Yemen, is not a political man at all, and he is a long-time officer in the Revolutionary Guard, and he played an important role in coordinating relations between Tehran and the Houthis, according to Abu Hatim.
Saleh asserts that Erillo is the de facto leader of the Houthi group, and he is the one who controls the military decisions, and the Houthis have nothing but implementation.
Iran had smuggled Irilo to Yemen, under the name of Iran’s ambassador to Sanaa, which is under the control of the Houthis.
Houthi implementation with Iranian planning
The Egyptian expert on security affairs, Gamal Mazloum, told The Eastern Herald that it is not possible to consider what the Houthis are doing in isolation from Iran, which is controlling all the group’s decisions.
Tehran controls the state of war and peace in Yemen
He added that Iran wants to flex its “muscles” before entering into any negotiations related to the nuclear file or any files related to it, that it has the ability to destabilize the peace through its militias in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
Mazloum added that Tehran’s messages openly reveal that it has the ability to strike sensitive targets of the strategic ally of the United States in the region, namely Saudi Arabia, at a time when Washington announced that it would freeze its support for Riyadh in its war in Yemen.
He believes that those who have planned the Houthi strikes on Saudi Arabia show that the targets are not related to a Saudi Houthi war, but rather reveal a “strategic view of everything that is happening in the Middle East, whether it is on land, sea or air.”
Saleh agrees with what Mazloum said, that the decision for peace and war in Yemen has become an Iranian decision par excellence.
He added that the recent strikes were under the supervision of officers of the Republican Revolutionary Guard, directly or indirectly, who drew the “plan of evasion, dispersion and destruction” using swarms of drones and were followed by missiles that were within slightly different periods of time in order to confuse the Saudi air defense systems.
He stressed that Yemen is the biggest loser in the equation, as the Houthis will find themselves a burned card at any time in the hands of Tehran, while Iran will seek to maximize its gains.
Drones and ballistic missiles
Saudi Arabia revealed, on Sunday, an attempt to target the Ras Tanura port in Al-Sharqiya and facilities belonging to Aramco in Dhahran, considering that “such sabotage attacks target oil supplies to the world, not just the Kingdom.”
The Houthis use weapons and ammunition manufactured in Iran
The spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, Turki Al-Maliki, stated that “the attacking drone coming from the seaside was destroyed and shot down before reaching its target, and the ballistic missile launched to target Saudi Aramco facilities in Dhahran was also intercepted and destroyed.”
He indicated that the missile was intercepted and destroyed, causing shrapnel to fall near civilian objects and civilians.
An official source at the Ministry of Energy told the Saudi Press Agency, “One of the oil tank yards, in Ras Tanura Port, in the Eastern Region, which is one of the largest oil shipping ports in the world, was attacked, on Sunday morning, by a drone. Coming from the side of the sea. ”
The source confirmed, in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency, that the attempt to target the port did not result in any injuries or loss of life or property.
The source revealed, “another attempt to attack Saudi Aramco facilities, as, on Sunday evening, the shrapnel of a ballistic missile fell near the residential neighborhood of Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, which is home to thousands of company employees and their families, of different nationalities.”
The Saudi Ministry of Energy called on the countries of the world and its organizations “to stand against these actions, directed against civilian objects and vital installations, and aimed at the security and stability of energy supplies in the world, due to the impact of these actions on the security of petroleum exports, the freedom of global trade, and maritime traffic, as well as exposing the coasts.” And territorial waters to major environmental disasters, which could result from the leakage of petroleum or petroleum products.
For his part, the spokesman for the Houthi forces, Yahya Saree, said that Aramco was targeted in the Saudi port of Ras Tanura and other military targets in the Dammam area as part of what he called the “Sixth Deterrence Balance” operation.
He added, “Other military sites in the Asir and Jizan regions were targeted by four Qasef 2k drones and seven Badr missiles.”
The Houthis announced, earlier, on Sunday, that they had launched attacks on Saudi Arabia with 14 drones and eight ballistic missiles.
Riyadh announced that the Saudi-led coalition intercepted two ballistic missiles launched by the Houthis towards the city of Jizan in the south of the Kingdom, in addition to the interception of 12 drones from a distance.
Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a military alliance in support of the Yemeni government, which has been locked in a bloody conflict against the Houthis since they seized control of Sanaa and other areas in 2014.
Violent battles between government forces and Houthi rebels in Marib, in northern Yemen, left 90 people dead on both sides in 24 hours, according to Yemeni government sources announced on Saturday.
Several areas in Saudi Arabia are constantly exposed to ballistic missiles and explosive drones launched from Yemen at its airports and oil installations.
The raging war that has lasted for six years in Yemen has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions, which has caused the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world, according to the United Nations.