The war of straits!
Talking about straits is a long discussion which includes world’s geography; nevertheless, to understand the current situation in Yemen, we need to discuss several issues which shows the domain of AnsarAllah’s influence on the region.
As Iranian President, Mr. Rouhani, stated that Iran’s strategic depth (as head of Moghawemat (resistance)) is from Indian Subcontinent in east to Mediterranean Sea in west to Red Sea in south to Caucasus in north. This region contains many straits, closing each of them can change the world.
One of these points (straits), which is under control of Islamic Moghawemat, is Bab al Mandab Strait which connects Red Sea to Gulf of Aden in southwest of Yemen. Daily about five million barrels of oil and oil products are transported through this strait either toward Europe or Asia.
Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s economy depends on this strait and any attack by AnsarAllah to this strait is a huge blow to their economy. Maybe Saudi Arabia can bring its oil from Persian Gulf to Red Sea by pipelines but connection between Suez Canal and Asian regions, low capacity of western harbors of Saudi and etc. confirms the importance of Bab al Mandab Strait and Yemen western coast.
First question: Who can change the equilibrium in Bab al Mandab Strait?
AnsarAllah is a Yemeni movement and follower of Islamic Moghawemat which using same military strategies as Iran and Hezbollah use, could expand their influence range from Red Sea to Persian Gulf.
After US being threatened by Iranian President, AnsarAllah hitting Saudi Alliance’s warship in Red Sea, shows a bit its power and reaches on this strait.
However this is not a new action by AnsarAllah and in previous situations when Syria as part of Moghawemat was attacked severely by “USA-Europe-Saudi” Coalition (Will Middle East Region’s Incidents Spark The Third World War?), AnsarAllah showed some of its power by missile attacks against Riyadh and southern regions of Saudi Arabia. Therefore it can be said that if Hezbollah is Sword of Damocles on Israel’s neck, AnsarAllah is Sword of Damocles on Saudi’s neck.
Future of war in Yemen, will AnsarAllah reach the end?
In the conclusion of article (Latest Situation and Reports On Yemen April 22, 2018; Map Update) we mentioned that if the war becomes very difficult for one side, higher layers of war will be used and after operation in al Hudaydah by Saudi Coalition we observed that a new generation of Yemeni drones and short-range missiles emerged in western coast fights.
Reckoning and destroying the Alliance’s equipment and forces using UAVs and missiles to obstacle the Alliance’s operation in western coast had great effect however to completely stop the operation, AnsarAllah needs more accurate plan.
On the earth, recently Yemenis claimed to start operations in western coast and to reclaim occupied districts Durayhimi and Tuhayta. Putting aside the possibility of bluffing, if we put these claims beside recent threats claimed by General Mohammad Qaderi, Commander of Yemeni Coastal Guard that we will target Saudi and Emirates harbors and open a sea war, the future of war in western coast needs more thoughts.
Observing what we predicted in article “Discussion on Aspects of the Saudi Coalition Operation in al-Hudaydah”, Saudi Coalition attacking al Hudaydah and route “Jarrahi-Tuhayta-Zabid-Husseiniya-Beit faqih-Mansouria” simultaneously wants to strengthen its defensive line and to cut AnsarAllah’s reach to sea.
In other axes such as in north of Hajjah, due to operation in south of al Hudaydah, advancing is not fast and it seems the primary objective of the Alliance is al Hudaydah and then other regions of western coast.
Other axes such as Sadaa, Nihm, Taiz, Baydha have same situation, only in Baydha front, AnsarAllah fighting with al Qaeda, ISIS and the Alliance supported forces feels more under pressure and it is possible that the frontline becomes unstable in next months.
AnsarAllah like before using side attacks and blocking the coastal road and resisting in suburban areas, tries to erode Saudi Coalition’s power but considering the high substitution rate of the Coalition for their lost equipment and troops, this strategy might not work as effective.
Operations such as attacking military vessels and oil tankers, accurate missile attacks, drone reckoning and attacking flights and etc. are more effective on the war and AnsarAllah knows it better; as they used them more often in recent months.
Latest changes to frontlines in September:
In the last month, frontlines did not change significantly except the western coast in south of al Hudaydah is unstable and the claiming of either side is not stable usually.
<Latest situation of south of al Hudaydah and main axes of engagement in September>