Attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia by Yemen’s Houthi group have doubled in the first nine months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, according to a report released yesterday.
The Houthis are “orchestrating an increasingly intense irregular warfare campaign against Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Gulf,” said the report by the US-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank.
It said Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force and Lebanese Hezbollah have played a critical role in providing weapons, technology, training, and other assistance to the group.
The CSIS said it analysed 4,103 Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia, within Yemen, and against other targets in the Gulf between 1 January 2016 and 20 October 2021.
According to the research, during the first nine months of 2020, Houthi forces executed a monthly average of 38 attacks but during the same period in 2021. That number rose to an average of 78 attacks, with a total of 702 attacks across the nine-month period.
“This increase was largely driven by the Houthi offensive in Marib, where 199 attacks took place during the first nine months of 2021,” it said.
“Houthi forces also carried out 133 total attacks in August 2021 alone—the highest single-month tally since at least January 2016. These attacks, however, were not equally distributed across geographic areas,” it added.
Impoverished Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.
The war, in which the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) back the Saudi-led coalition, has killed more than 377,000 people and pushed millions to the brink of famine, according to the United Nations (UN) official data.