Operation “Decisive Storm” – Day 19 Coalition Military Briefing

Published: April 13, 2015

Editor’s Note:

At the conclusion of day 19 (April 13th) of the military campaign in Yemen (Operation “Decisive Storm”) Coalition Forces’ spokesman Saudi Brig. Gen Ahmed Asiri provided a briefing on developments. Here is the daily military briefing report from SPA. [Note: Operation “Decisive Storm” is also called “Determination Storm” in some translations.]

Highlights

  • Coalition strikes focused on interdiction of Houthi militia logistic lines toward Aden.
  • Strikes continue against militias in Saada, Omran and Sana’a.
  • Militias using schools, hospitals and sports grounds for military materiel storage.
  • Militias using caves in Sana’a and Saada for troop assembly and supply caches.
  • Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders continuing relief deliveries to Sana’a.
  • Saudi-Yemen border skirmishes and mortar attacks continued especially in Najran.
  • Maritime forces continue to check vessels in and out of all Yemeni ports.
  • Russian vessel arrived yesterday for evacuation of nationals.
  • Houthi militias and Saleh troops continue “media” operations to discredit the coalition.
  • Coalition spokesman said Iran had provided 14 logistics flights.
  • Reports of the fall of Aden, Dhalea, Shabwa and Ataq are “media exaggerations.”
  • Calls for relief work truces rely on Houthi militias’ cessation of interference in “Yemeni citizens affairs.”
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Coalition Forces Spokesman: Movements of Houthi Militias Have Become Slow… People’s Committees Ambush Houthi Militias around Aden

Riyadh, Jumada II 24, 1436, Apr 13, 2015, SPA — Brig. Gen. Ahmed bin Hasan Asiri, Consultant at the Minister of Defense’s Office and Spokesman of the Coalition Forces, said that a large part of the goals set by the coalition forces have been achieved, and the coalition operations are going as planned.

In his daily press briefing held today at Riyadh Airbase, Asiri said that the last period has seen continuous movements of Houthi militia trying to move logistics towards Aden. Therefore, the coalition forces aimed to isolate Aden from such type of supply, and to end the movements of Houthi militias on the roads leading to Aden.

Asiri pointed out that the Houthi militias were forced to move off-road and in valleys. Therefore, their movement has become slow and they are prone to coalition forces strikes. Moreover, they were ambushed by the People’s Committees and tribesmen, and as a result, their movements on the ground have become more difficult.

He stated that air operations of the coalition continued to target the stores of machineries, ammunition and military equipment as well as Houthi militias in Saada, Omran and Sanaa.

He added that the Houthi militias managed to exploit schools, hospitals and sports grounds to store equipment and machineries, noting that the coalition forces have targeted a playground in the city of Aden and another one in Ebb Province which contain big amount of ammunition and equipment.

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Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri is the spokesman for Coalition military activities in Yemen.

He confirmed the keenness of the coalition forces to keep the infrastructure of Yemen intact and at the same time not allow the Houthi militias to benefit from using them in military activities.

He pointed out to the coalition forces also continued to target caves in Sanaa and Saada to make sure that the Houthi militias are not using them to store ammunition and equipment or as group assembling centers.

Asiri explained that airstrikes by coalition forces have reached 120 sorties, noting that the forces are capable to augment this number but are keen to pinpoint and hit their targets.

He pointed that the bad deteriorating psychological state of the Houthi militias is forcing them to attack citizens as they are lacking any ground target. Work of the coalition forces is now focusing on damaging tunnels and concentration centers of Houthis around Aden, leaving them as vulnerable targets for our airstrikes, isolated and cut off and having no other choice but to surrender to the popular committees or the legitimate local authorities, he said.

He said Sanaa and its surroundings, machineries concentrations in Maareb Province and some districts in Aden are still subject to coalition forces airstrikes.

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Brig. Gen. Asiri said great efforts are being exerted to orchestrate relief work heading for Aden and Sanaa as well as all-Yemen to guarantee its delivery to the Yemeni needy citizens, noting that the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders are continuing relief deliveries to capital Sanaa, a step which will improve the performance of hospitals and provision of medical services to Yemeni citizens, he added.

On the land operations, Asiri said matters go smoothly at all the southern border of the Kingdom. However, there are few skirmishes being launched by the Houthi militias using mortar shots towards border posts, particularly in Najran sector, whereas the Saudi land forces managed to deal with them accordingly and remain keen to respond to the sources of fire and evade shelling residential areas where many citizens who have nothing to do with the war are residing.

Naval ban operations are continuing to check all vessels heading for or coming from all Yemeni ports, he said, citing the arrival yesterday of a vessel affiliated to the Russian government to evacuate some of their dependants in the port of Aden. He pointed that work is continuing to coordinate evacuation and relief works for all dependants available there through an ad hoc committee while humanitarian relief work is continuing at Yemeni ports.

In response to a question on the attempt by Houthi militias and Saleh troops to transfer the struggle with the Kingdom to the media bench, Asiri said this trend has never ceased since the beginning of the operations whereas they managed to use different means of media to spread lies and exaggerated news. He cited that the media has, over the last few days, quoted the Houthi militia as reporting that they have occupied 30 Saudi villages. The media is now available at the border along Jazan sector, he said, adding that tomorrow their representatives will be at Najran sector to see the real situation.

He noted that the pressure mounted by the coalition forces on the Houthi ground militias in Saada and the surroundings made them opt to try to expand their operation zone along the Saudi border, but in vain, as those operations are limited and desperate, due, also, to the firm and forceful response of the border guard troops.

YEMEN CROPPED MAP

Click on image for larger view.

Asked to estimate the size of skirmishes along the Kingdom’s border, Asiri said there are one or two elements who are using mortar-80 from a hidden site on a mountain, using hit and hide tactic. Responding to the source of fire by our forces is suffice, he said, adding that whenever it is time to launch the land attack according to the plan, and not in response to the Houthi dragging tactics, our forces are going to do it.

I avail myself of this opportunity to call on the Yemenis and commanders of military units, officers and troops who now became certain of the wrong way of anti-legitimacy in Yemen to return to their commanders and army to, again, sincerely defend their land and citizens against the Houthi militias, he said, adding that he refers the matter of bringing them before justice or holding them accountable to the Yemeni legitimate government.

Brig. Gen. Asiri reaffirmed that the coalition forces are operating in accordance with a methodology away from exaggeration in numbers and percentages, noting the warehouses, ammunition and vehicles seized by the militias from the Yemeni government during their seizing of power in Sanaa and what was transferred from Iran by air through the 14 weekly flights in addition to what has been smuggled through Yemeni ports and coasts during the past period, pointing out that what was hidden beneath schools, hotels and houses my equal what has been destroyed.

Brigadier Asiri reported that there are some media outlets broadcasting confused and floundering news from Yemen and have no clear direction adding that sometimes, there are reports about the fall of Aden, Dhalea, Shabwa and then Ataq and they all are media exaggerations and stressing that the coalition forces have an action plan and clear objectives that will be achieved. He added that today, the Yemeni citizens know who is killing them, spoiling their lives and turning the country into ammunition depots.

He stated that what the Yemeni citizens see daily on the ground is the true media orientation, but what is promoted in the false media by analysts and theorists who are far away from the Yemeni scene is just a desperate attempt after they saw their project in which they invested to destroy Yemeni citizens and their infrastructure is being destroyed now before their eyes and will never succeed.

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On the humanitarian situation in Aden, the coalition spokesman confirmed that ‘Determination Storm’ was launched only to achieve all that is in the interests of Yemeni people and its legitimate government. He added that those who call for a humanitarian truce must demand from the Houthi militias and their supporters a humanitarian truce for the Yemeni citizens and stop the daily killing and harming of them, pointing out that humanitarian and aid relief is going with a sustained pace every day without any complications, and indicating that ‘Determination Storm’ and the command of the coalition are aware of their responsibilities towards the Yemeni citizens and therefore provide timely and coordinated dates with relief groups and states to facilitate their access to Yemeni ports and airports.

He stressed that what is important is not the arrival in Sanaa airport but moving inside Sanaa and delivering such relief materials because the Houthis and their militias turned the lives of the Yemeni citizens to hell which makes relief work more difficult.

He added that those who demand a truce for relief work must demand from the Houthi militias and their supporters to stop interference in Yemeni citizens’ affairs and to let them live their daily lives in peace.

On reports about the death of the rebels’ leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi, Brigadier Asiri said that they do not have any confirmed information and this is the penalty and the fate for the Houthi militants and the criminals who hijacked Yemeni citizens and their daily lives and indulged in their killing.

— SPA

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