Operation “Decisive Storm” – Day 13 Military Briefing

Published: April 7, 2015

Editor’s Note:

At the conclusion of day 13 (April 7th) of the military campaign in Yemen (Operation “Decisive Storm”) Saudi Brig. Gen Ahmed Asiri provided a briefing on developments. Meanwhile King Salman bin Abdulaziz received a large assembly of senior officers from national defense and security services. Both events were reported on by the official Saudi Press Agency. Here are the SPA reports. [Note: Operation “Decisive Storm” is also called “Determination Storm” in some translations.]

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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Receives Commanders and Senior Officers of Ministries of Defense, Interior and National Guard and Presidencies of General Intelligence and Royal Guard

Riyadh, Jumada II 18, 1436, Apr 7, 2015, SPA — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Supreme Commander of All Military Forces, received at Al-Yamamah Palace here today commanders and senior officers of the ministries of defense, interior and national guard and the presidencies of general intelligence and royal guard, who came to greet the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

At the outset of the audience, the commanders and senior officers shook hands with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Then, the audience listened to a recitation of verses of the Holy Quran.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques delivered the following speech:

‘In the name of Allah, most merciful, most gracious. Peace and blessings be upon the Prophet. Dear brothers and sons, I am pleased to be with you today, among our forces that defend first our religion and the land of the Two Holy Mosques. Whoever defends the land of the Two Holy Mosques, its borders and internal security, he is defending a homeland that deserves to be defended and a loyal people who deserve to have their securityprotected internally and externally – by externally, I mean the borders.

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Praise be to Allah that this country has been established on the bases of uniting the people of this country under the banner of ‘There Is No God but Allah and Mohammed Is the Messenger of Allah'; this has been the case since the reign of King Abdulaziz though the reigns of his sons Saud, Faisal, Khaled, Fahd and Abdullah, and the late Crown Princes Sultan and Naif.

As is identified by my official title, I am the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. And he who serves the Two Holy Mosques serves his religion and country. Your country is the Qiblah (destination) of Muslims. Every Muslim prays towards it five times a day. Therefore, its security and stability, internally and externally, are our responsibility. Thanks to Allah Almighty, all of you – the armed military forces – are enforcing your duty. And, as I said, you are of this country’s people, and are the best fitted to defend its people. We only pray that Almighty Allah endow us with the grace of thanking the many great things He bestow on us, and grace us with following the rightful path.’

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The audience was attended by Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier; Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Minister of National Guard; Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior; Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense, President of Royal Court, and Special Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

–SPA

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Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri says, in today’s briefing, that Determination Storm Targets Brigades and Forces Supporting Houthi Militias

Riyadh, Jumada II 18, 1436, Apr 7, 2015, SPA — Brig. Gen. Ahmed bin Hasan Asiri, consultant at the minister of defense’s office and spokesman of the Coalition Forces, said that the coalition command is continuously communicating with the relief organizations to follow up evacuation of foreigners.

As explained during the daily press briefing held today base Riyadh flights, Brig. Asiri said that the command issued today necessary permissions for a ship to move from Djibouti towards Aden carrying relief materials and medical crews of the Red Cross.

Asiri added that the evacuation operations are going at a good pace despite of presence of some obstacles facing some countries in providing enough aircrafts to the size of their people in Yemen, stressing that capabilities which are provided by the coalition command are began to show results on the ground.

Brig. Asiri pointed out that the actions carried out by the coalition forces during the air campaign are going in accordance with the prepared plans where the coalition forces isolated the Houthi militias in Aden with a continuation of supporting the People’s Committees and the loyal people of the region to address these acts of sabotage.

Asiri said that the coalition forces have worked to achieve the air objectives since the beginning of operations with a focus on the Houthi camps and movements where the coalition forces directly targeted them in Sana’a, Taiz and Dhali.

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Brig. Asiri said that the coalition command hopes that the commanders of the military units in the Yemeni army which desire to support the legitimacy and abandonment of these terrorist groups are to communicate with their colleagues who support the legitimacy in order to avoid destroying these forces.

During the past 24 hours, Brig. Asiri added that the coalition forces targeted all brigades and forces that support the Houthi militias at their sites, movements and ammunition stores, ‘the coalition forces destroyed today about 11 ammunition stores,’ he added.

Brig. Asiri said that the number of Houthi militias are began to decrease, pointing out that they are in disarray and have no organization, ‘the coalition command will target and destroy their sites,’ Asiri added.

At Al-Anad Airbase, Brig. Asiri confirmed that the potentials are neutralized at the airbase, ‘but the Houthi militias returned yesterday to the airbase and tried to grab these potentials and hide inside the airbase,’ Asiri added, pointing out that the coalition forces directly attacked them and the base is became now under the control of the People’s Committees in the region.

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Regarding the land operations, Brig. Asiri said the Kingdom’s southern borders are in a fully stable situation where the land forces and border guards perform their duties.

At the same time, the naval operations of the coalition forces are also playing their role effectively in collaboration with the states in the region at Bab-el-Mandeb and the Horn of Africa.

Answering reporter’s questions, Asiri said the coalition forces are working to achieve their current main goals of securing the city of Aden, preventing the Houthi militias from continuing to terrify citizens and blocking any flow of supportive materials for the Houthis from outside the city. He said that mutinous army forces, affiliating to deposed former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and the militias are from time to time trying to reinforce their presence in the city of Aden.

He drew the attention that the Determination Storm targeted the hostile camps in Aden, particularly the central security and presidential guard sites who might play crucial role on the military balance on the ground, noting that the Houthi militias have in the past stormed the Yemeni army facilities and robbed quantities of arms from the stores, and imported big amounts of weapons from outside Yemen. Asiri questioned the wisdom from storing this sizable quantities of arms inside Yemen if it were not to harm the country and its citizens.

He said military action is a planned and organized one that’s not responding to reactions. So, this work is targeting militia’s and not a regular army, noting that ten to twelve or two weeks of military operations is considered a short time, particularly that the military operations are done according to a prescribed plan that takes into consideration the safety of citizens and the infrastructure of the country.

He criticized those who are crying on the media to condole the painful losses their Houthi allies have sustained, citing the human and Houthi military infrastructures losses.

Giving an account on the history of the Houthi group struggle to seize power in Yemen, Asiri reminded that the Houthi militias started to attack the Yemeni State early 2002, and then launched six wars against the Yemeni army, drawing the attention that the Yemeni government has given TV evidence in the past years on the involvement of Iran in support of the Houthi militia with weapons and ammunition coming to them through Yemeni ports.

Since then, the militias were trying to seize power from the legitimate government in Yemen. Following their most recent coup in Sanaa, there were 14 flights a week coming from Iran carrying weapons and ammunition for the Houthi militia, he disclosed, adding that the planes were also carrying what they call ‘tourists coming from Iran and Yemeni tourists going to Iran’.

He confirmed that the Iranians managed to train Yemeni youths to use military aircraft, obtain airstrikes and artillery, an unprecedented experience of a militia who possess warplanes and scud missiles. He stated that Iran and Hezbollah managed to provide training for Houthi militia which was developed to sustain harm to Yemeni population and infrastructure. He said this destructive plan is now halted by the Determination Storm Operation.

On the other hand, Al-Samsam military drill 5, is held alternately between the Kingdom and Pakistan, aiming at achieving mutual experience and benefit. He said the Saudi Arabian armed forces and land forces are ready to do their job along the southern border of the Kingdom, noting the role being played by King Salman Training Center in this regard.

Asked to comment on a call by Yemeni foreign minister for establishing a safe haven, Asiri said His Excellency the Yemeni minister is part of the operation and of the coalition and that the current military plan is proceeding upon schedule, citing that the airstrikes are now giving ripe and that the land phase will be announced on due time.

He cited that in 1990, during the Kuwait liberation operation, airstrikes went on for nearly five to six months while the land operations took only 100 hours.

Asiri drew the attention to a detailed report presented to the United Nations by the Yemeni government representative on the militia practice against Yemeni citizens. He added that the UN Red Cross announced today through its spokesman that the situation in the Yemeni city of Aden is catastrophic due to the militia practices. Following grave losses on the ground in Aden, the Houthi militia in Aden opted to shell homes and citizen gatherings, and cut off water and electric power from some districts according to TV footage transmitted by impartial circles.

He concluded that the ‘Determination Strom’ operation is aiming to stop such disastrous acts and protect the Yemeni people.

— SPA

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