'Thousands of Saudi troops' captured in Houthi border attack

'Thousands of Saudi troops' captured in Houthi border attack
Yemen's Houthi movement said it carried out an attack near the border with the southwestern Saudi region of Najran.
3 min read
28 September, 2019
Saudi Arabia has yet to confirm the attack [Getty]
Thousands of Saudi troops were allegedly captured by Yemen’s Houthis after the rebel movement launched an attack near the border with the southwestern Saudi region of Najran, reports claimed.

The “enemy soldiers” were captured in the attack that was supported by the movement’s drone, missile and air defence units, a statement by the rebels said.  

A spokesman for the Yemen-based rebels said in a statement that three "enemy military brigades had fallen" in the attack, Reuters news agency reported on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the rebels’s Al Masirah TV said the Houthis had captured "thousands" of enemy troops, including many officers and soldiers of the Saudi army, as well as "hundreds of armoured vehicles".

The attack and numbers provided by the rebel media could not be immediately verified, however the Houthis have recently upped attacks against neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Most recently the Houthis claimed an attack on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities, in an assault that was blamed by world powers on Iran.

The September 14 attacked knocked out half of the OPEC giant's production and sent shock waves through world energy markets.

On Wednesday, Yemen's Houthi rebels said their offer to halt all attacks on Saudi Arabia still stands despite new air strikes launched by a Riyadh-led coalition fighting the insurgents.

Twenty-two civilians, including children, were killed in air raids earlier this week in Daleh and Amran provinces, the United Nations said.

The strikes came after the Iran-backed Houthis offered to halt drone and ballistic missile attacks on Saudi Arabia as part of efforts to end a war that has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

"The initiative is still on, and we are patient," Hisham Sharaf, the Houthis' foreign minister, told AFP.

"If they want peace, we are for peace. If they don't want peace, they know how we can hit them hard.

According to the UN, seven civilians including women and children from the same family were killed when airstrikes hit a mosque on Monday in the Houthi-held northern province of Amran.

The next day, 15 people including seven children were killed in raids on southern Daleh province, which is partly controlled by the rebel movement.

UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said Wednesday the strikes were "yet another heartbreaking event".

He urged all parties "to take tangible and quick steps to reduce the violence, respect international humanitarian law and allow for a conducive environment for Yemen to return to a political process without delay".

The strikes marked the first major attack believed to have been carried out by the coalition since the Houthis' offer.

Sharaf said the rebels would give the Saudi-led coalition more time.

"We find that they're trying to distract the whole world from our initiative by launching these air strikes," he said.

"We will give them time even if they're killing our people."

Tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, have been killed since Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in March 2015 in support of the internationally recognised government after the Houthis captured the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

The fighting has displaced millions and left more than two-thirds of the population in need of aid.

The United Nations has described Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab