Operation “Decisive Storm” – Day 25/Apr 19 Coalition Military Briefing

Published: April 19, 2015

Editor’s Note:

At the conclusion of day 25 (April 19th) 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 air forces mounted 106 sorties in 24 hour period; total at 2,300; maintained air superiority.
  • Air strikes sought to disrupt Houthi movements and strike camps and ammunition and ballistic missile storage.
  • No ballistic missile threat remains.
  • Strikes targeted military equipment warehouses/caves near Sana’a.
  • Focus on Saada region and Sana’a; supporting People’s Committees near Aland.
  • More attention needed to support Brigade 35 near Taiz.
  • Aden situation improving; operations continued near Mualla and Khor Makasar.
  • Saudi artillery active against forces in the border region.
  • Coalition naval units continued maritime embargo and visit/search of vessels.
  • A relief vessel arrived at Aden.
  • Coalition efforts have neutralized all command and control centers.
  • Next air operations phase will focus on: prevent Houthis operational movements; humanitarian action; access to Yemeni ports and airports.
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Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri says, in today’s briefing, that coalition forces disrupt movement of Houthi militias, attack bases and sites that were dug in

Riyadh, Jumada II 30, 1436, Apr 19, 2015, SPA– Brig. Gen. Ahmed bin Hasan Asiri, consultant in the defense minister’s office and spokesman of the coalition forces, said that Air Force’s operations continued following the movements of the Houthi militias on the ground, disrupting their movement and attacking the bases and sites that were dug in, indicating that the results are being felt on the ground.

During the daily press briefing at Riyadh airbase, which he held today, Asiri said during the last twenty four hours, the Air Force carried out more than a hundred sorties, reaching 106 sorties during the past twenty four hours, pointing out that their aim was to continue pressure on the Houthi militia elements, camps and ammunition assembly points and at the same time assert the achievement of the full objectives that have already been set for the air campaign.

He indicated that during the past twenty four hours, the work focused on Saada region, Sanaa, its outskirts, ammunition depots located there and locations of ballistic weapons storage; they also targeted Aland area where there was support for the operations of the People’s Committees on the ground, pointing out that Taiz still needs a lot of work to support the work of brigade 35 against the Houthi militias that are carrying out acts of sabotage.

Brigadier Asiri said that the situation in Aden is improving day after day adding that operations were confined to Mualla area and Khor Makasar in which the militias are entrenched in a defensive position, and noting that the People’s Committees are now searching for weapons and ammunition sites inside houses and among them.

He pointed out that work is still continuing to support the People’s Committees and their work on the ground. The hit-and-run operations carried out by militias from time to time gives a positive indication that the supply operations and logistics that come from outside of Aden have become very weak.

He said that the targeting of most ammunition storage sites which were located in the outskirts of the city of Aden and in stadiums and caves made the groups inside isolated, although they still possess large quantities of ammunition stored and potentials discovered by the People’s Committees daily during the searches, indicating that the militia turned homes into warehouses for ammunition, launchers of anti-armor and explosives in large quantities.

YEMEN CROPPED MAP

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Brigadier Asiri said that the most important operations that were carried out on Saturday were targeting a warehouse of military machinery and equipment in the vicinity of the city of Sanaa, stores of missiles, entrances to caves, ballistic missiles and their launchers, the majority of vehicles and launchers to prevent their use by the militia. The targets included attacking warehouses in caves in the area Sanaa, disabling them and preventing their use by the militias and the disruption of the roads leading to these warehouses.

Brigadier Geneal Asiri confirmed that coalition forces are tageting military vehicles and equipment to prevent the militias from taking advantage of them and targeting farms and housing areas that have become sites to store ammunition and equipment and operation planning centers; in addition to targeting the Saada region in northern Yemen. He pointed out the targeting of command centers in one hotel that the militias have used as a residential and command center for their elements, as well as military vehicles which were assembled in centers of one brigade.

He said that according to available information to the coalition forces, the militias were planing to carry out a certain action toward the Saudi borders, and therefore the coalition forces disabled bridges or rafts that help the movement in order to prevent these militias from moving toward the Saudi borders.

saudi-yemen-border

He said that the coalition forces tageted on Saturday one of the camps which contained a large number of vehicles and other equipment in addition to targeting caves used to store ammunition in northern Yemen areas in and around Sa’ada region. He asserted that there was no violations of the Saudi borders because the Saudi ground forces carried out a lot of work in the rear using mortars and artillery.

He reported that the Saudi ground forces for the first time used mortars at distances farther inside the rear where they targeted sites from which the elements that targeted Almanarah site at night came. He said that there were no such cases during the past 24 hours. He did not rule out the continuation of skirmishes by the Houthi militias from time to time indicating that the ground forces are doing their job in cooperation with the border guards.

He mentioned the coninued naval operations concerning the sea embargo and visit and inspection of ships heading to and from ports and facilitating movement of ships coming from Djibouti carrying relief materials, drawing attention to the arrival of another ship to the port of Aden carrying food and relief material to ease the suffering of Yemeni citizens and improve their living conditions.

He reported that the air campaign carried a total of 2300 sorties including operations that took place during Sunday afternoon.

With regard to air defenses, Brigadier Asiri confirmed that coalition forces targeted a percentage of 95 to 98% of the potential captured by Houthi militias and which was under the control of the Yemeni army. He added that what remains with them is only a few short range artillery pieces that will not have an impact on subsequent operations. He stressed that air sovereignty was absolute and coalition aircraft were flying day and night at any time and anywhere freely.

He said that coalition forces neutralized all command, control and communications centers, reminding that the militias have no communication any longer, no command and control and no centralized planning. He added that the actions carried out by the groups are isolated as those in Shabwa are fighting in Shabwa and have no communication with those in Dalea or in Saada or Sanaa or other places due to the targeting of all means of communication, which was used for this purpose. They also no longer have command and control but isolated operations. This is the case also near the Saudi borders and therefore these militias and their supporters from the rebels of the Yemeni army have no longer any means of command and control in the military sense, he said.

Brig Asiri stressed that there is no longer a threat of ballistic missiles on the territory of neighboring countries.

scud b missile rocket

He stated that the percentage of what has been destroyed is over 80% but he did not rule out the existence of some warehouses within the hotels and basements of hospitals, stressing that the coalition forces sought since the beginning of the operations not to target infrastructure and populated areas and not target populations, adding that ammunition stores were targeted and no information on the presence of an ammunition dump was neglected but it was dealt with and destroyed.

Brig Asiri explained that all maintenance and manufacturing workshops were targeted, indicating that there is a desire by these groups to reorganize their work and withdraw equipment that has been destroyed and repair them.

The spokesman of the coalition forces stated that brigade gathering sites, cars and locomotives were all targeted to prevent the movement of these militias asserting control of coalition air forces of the air space, sea waters and ports of the Republic of Yemen and thus cutting supply to the militias within Yemen and from abroad.

Brigadier Asiri asserted that all clashes that happened along the border were limited and the Houthi militias and their supporters were unable to carry out any ground action of value or impact on the southern border of the Kingdom of saudi Arabia, pointing out that one of the goals set for operations of Determination Storm is prevention of any threat to the kingdom’s borders.

He explained that the operations of the coalition forces since their inception have a positive effect on paving the way for the subsequent stage, stressing that what has been achieved in the past few days was due to the hard work, careful planning, intelligence work, the perseverance of all coalition countries and personnel of the coalition’s air force and land and naval forces to reach the results that are almost the objectives of the first phase.

military-briefing-asiri-03

He explained that the next phase of air operations will focus on three main objectives: prevention of the Houthi militias’ operational movements on the ground that have become slow, protection of civilians, humanitarian action and alleviation of the suffering of Yemeni citizens, through providing support and facilitating the evacuation and humanitarian relief operations procedures, referring to the the existence of a committee formed for this purpose to facilitate the evacuation and relief operations and access to Yemeni ports and airports with ease and as quickly as possible.

The coalition spokesman confirmed that the relief work must be carried out through the command of the coalition and no parties within Yemen are entitled to give permission to any aircraft to go to Yemeni airports except through the command of the coalition to prevent any violations or errors that force these aircraft to land and undergo customary investigate procedures in such cases.

–SPA

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