Operation “Decisive Storm” – Day 26/Apr 20 Coalition Military Briefing

Published: April 20, 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.]

Today we noted that the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, DC launched a Web site to document Operation “Decisive Storm” briefings and related news items. The site is at: OperationDecisiveStorm.com

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Yemen Army military commander defections to coalition supported forces lauded.
  • Relief work continuing, supplies arrived in Aden from Djibouti, carried injured back on return voyage.
  • Houthi militias charged with holding up humanitarian arrivals/departures at airports.
  • Coalition reiterated objective remained restoring legitimacy in Yemen, prevent
  • Houthis from harming civilians and threatening neighboring countries.
  • Coalition airstrikes reached 128 in previous day.
  • Expect Houthi attacks to continue in border areas. Najran border post attacked.
  • Support continues for popular committees’ forces in Aden and Taiz.
  • Ballistic missile sites at Faj Attan attacked, huge explosion suggested weapons caches present.
  • Naval operations continue, aim to prevent seaborne support to Houthis.
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Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri calls anew on leaders of military brigades in Yemen to re-join the legitimacy and end nonsense fighting

Riyadh, Rajab 01, 1436, Apr 20, 2015, SPA– Brig. Gen. Ahmed bin Hasan Asiri, consultant in the defense minister’s office and spokesman of the coalition forces, lauded the defection of a number of military commanders of the Yemeni army in support of legitimacy in their country, citing the leader of the 37th brigade, reiterating his call for other leaders to re-join the legitimacy and end nonsense fighting.

During the daily press briefing at Riyadh airbase, which he held today, Asiri said relief works is continuing at a good pace, citing the arrival of a vessel from Djibouti to the port of Aden laden with relief items. On its return journey, the vessel transported, in coordination between the Yemeni government and the ad hoc committee, a number of the injured to Djibouti to have medical care.

He asserted the importance of punctuality of civil planes’ arrival and departure so as not to disrupt evacuation operations from airports. He gave an example of a plane affiliated to Doctors Without Borders which is denied departure due to arbitrary measures imposed by Houthi militias.

He called on humanitarian organizations to register such deliberate disruptions to hold the doers responsible later.

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Asiri said the coalition forces are going to focus in the coming phase on blocking the Houthi militias from ground moving, on protecting the civilians, providing support for relief, evacuation and humanitarian operations, noting that the prescribed objectives of the whole operation of determination storm are to restore legitimacy and provide protection to it, prevent Houthi militias from using force, possessing military might or harming civilians, and harming and threatening neighboring countries.

Then, we are going to move to the next phase, he added.

He explained that moving from step to step doesn’t mean a change of strategy, but a change in the distribution of effort, citing the number of airstrikes which reached until yesterday 128 sorties.

He disclosed that the coalition forces have obtained confirmed information that the Houthi militias are planning to carry out some operations along the northern border of Yemen. Yesterday, they targeted a border post, located in Najran sector as a result of the pressure mounted on them in the region of Sa’ada and the surroundings, he said, adding that some elements of the Houthi militias are committing suicide operations upon beliefs that dying at the Saudi border is an act of martyrdom. They launched heavy fire yesterday and used mortar shells, killing a border guard soldier and injuring others, a move prompted the Saudi land forces and border guard to respond accordingly, driving the Houthi militias away and destroying their materials, he explained.

On the situation in Aden, he said the coalition forces command is continuing the support works for the popular committees, noting that there is clear progress on the committees performance in comparison with that of former days, citing popular committees attacking operation in the districts of Kreter, Khor Makassar and Al-Mualla following the weakening of Houthi militias abilities and their lack of support and logistics from outside the city of Aden as well as the targeting of their movements along the roads and on the outskirts of Aden.

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Asiri said the coalition forces continue to provide support for popular committees and resistance in Taiz to prevent the militias from affecting the balance of force on the ground.

He said the forces targeted ballistic missiles sites at Faj Attan mountain yesterday, destroying a big number of shells, ammunition and weapons as the size of explosion might indicate.

He said the Houthi militias have confiscated a relief caravan sent to alleviate the sufferings of Yemeni citizens on assumption to benefit from the materials in their battle but the coalition forces targeted their stores and destroyed them.

Asiri warned Yemeni tribes not to welcome the Houthis trying to store some items in their own stores, a move, if done, would make such stores vulnerable to coalition forces airstrikes, he added, reiterating his call to tribesmen to follow suit of other tribes who opted to take the side of legitimacy.

He said the naval operations are also going in a systematic and organized way, paving the way for relief vessels to go ahead, confirming that the coalition forces would not allow others to exploit this facility to provide any kind of support to Houthis.

Answering reporters’ questions, Asiri said this daily press conference is being held upon direct instructions from the Minister of Defense to provide local and international media representatives with all information and, even, offer them the possibility to pay inspection visits to the battle field in the southern region.

He confirmed that he is available at any moment at the Information Center to provide detailed information to the media. On the other side, the Houthi militias are creating difficulties to the media in Yemen.

He said the coalition operations are not targeting particular individuals but the militia which is destroying the legitimacy, noting that the coalition forces are targeting command center and not persons to prevent the militias from committing sabotage on the ground or planning for that.

He drew the attention that the militias are killing ordinary people in Yemen, and threaten the southern border of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on daily bases, no difference between a leader or his representatives on the ground.

–SPA

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Read more on this topic:

Capitol Hill Symposium

Focus KSA Interviews

Coalition Military Briefings

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