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article imageSaudis deny Houthi claims about capture of Saudi troops

By Ken Hanly     Oct 2, 2019 in Politics
Spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, Col. Turki al Malki, that is fighting against the Houthis who control the north of the country says that the Houthi claims that thousands of Saudi troops were captured were "misleading"
The Houthis claim
The Houthis are supported by Iran. A recent article reported: "Houthi rebels in Yemen say they have killed 500 Saudi soldiers, captured a further 2,000 and seized a convoy of Saudi military vehicles.The extraordinary claims at a press conference on Sunday, involving still photographs and inconclusive videos of captured soldiers, many not in uniform, could not be corroborated, and there was no independent confirmation from Saudi Arabia. The Houthis, showing pictures of upturned Saudi vehicles and immobilised convoys, claimed the attacks had occurred over the past three days in the southern Najran region of Saudi Arabia, which borders Yemen, and would continue with greater intensity."
As noted in the quote many of the captured soldiers wear no uniforms and there has been no independent confirmation of the capture.
A spokesperson for the Houthis claimed that there were mercenaries among those captured. "The enemy has suffered heavy losses during the operation," a statement released by the group's spokesperson Abdul Salam read, and noted that "among the captives are hundreds of Saudis, including officers and mercenaries from Sudan, Pakistan, and Iraq, among others. The Nasr Min Allah (a victory from Allah) operation is one of the best and greatest fruits of the steadfastness of Yemini people in confronting the aggression," the statement added." Note this article speaks only of hundreds of Saudis being captured not thousands.
The Saudi response
Al Malki, spokesperson for the Saudi-coalition brushed off the Houthi claims about prisoners and called them part of a "misleading media campaign". Maliki claimed that they had thwarted an attack late in August in the Kitaf distribt of Saada province along the Yemen border with Saudi Arabia. The Houthi's claim their raid was in the region of Najran in the south in the border region as well.
Maliki claimed that during the past several weeks the Saudis have killed 1,500 Houthis. There have been heavy Saudi aistrikes in the north but Maliki did not elaborate or give further evidence of his claims.
The Houthis have posted many photos backing up their claims. While the prisoner videos may be staged, there are videos showing armoured vehicles that clearly seem to belong to the Saudis and some have identified them as vehicles sent by Canada. As noted in a recent Ottawa Citizen article: "Yemen’s Houthi rebels have released video footage of the aftermath of a battle with Saudi forces which appears to show a captured Canadian-made light armoured vehicle. " The appended Al Jazeera You Tube video shows excerpts from some of the Houthi videos.
More about Houthis, Yemen War, Saudi arabia
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