Saudi Ministry of Defense Daily Briefing: Operation Decisive Storm
The following is a summary of the daily press briefing held today in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on the developments of Operation Decisive Storm. The briefing was conducted by Brig. Gen. Ahmed bin Hasan Asiri, advisor in the Office of the Minister of Defense.
- During the past 24 hours, the coalition’s operations have focused on north Yemen, where enemy fire injured a number of border guards, killing one.
- Following the incident, the Land Forces aircraft and field artillery responded to the source of the attack and destroyed the group. The coalition’s air force strikers then supported the response by attacking enemy troops trying to approach the border.
- The coalition’s forces continued their operations around the city of Aden, particularly on roads leading to and from Al-Baidha, Al-Dhalea and Shabwa.
- Brig. Gen. Asiri confirmed Al-Dhalea and Shabwa are now under the control of the popular committees and the regular Yemeni army loyal to the legitimate government. The situation around Aden is currently stable.
- A number of small militia groups, in addition to anti-legitimacy insurgent army units, are still hiding in Aden. Yesterday, these groups attempted to control some areas in the city, in an attempt to create media attention, rather than a real military success. The coalition’s forces are working in collaboration with the popular committees to mop up remaining Houthi militias and their allies, who have fortified themselves in some small areas in Aden and have attempted to gain control of government buildings. They were not successful.
- All Houthi camps that were subject to previous attacks have been repeatedly attacked, to ensure that new groups cannot assemble.
- A facility used by Houthis to link Al-Shagra with Aden was destroyed to cut off any possible supplies from reaching Houthi militia forces in Aden.
- Buildings where Houthi groups or militias fortified themselves in were also targeted today.
- A Houthi position of air defense, a radar based at the headquarters and a building used by Houthi militia, have all been targeted, following verified intelligence that commanders were inside.
- The Houthi militias, following continuous attacks, have scattered in different directions in the northern and central regions of Yemen.
- The Houthis attacked a number of prisons to set prisoners free, with the goal of causing further havoc and escalating the situation.
- The goal of the coalition at the beginning of the operations was to protect the Yemeni people. The coalition will continue to operate at this tempo in order to thwart the militia's goal of imposing chaos and disorder in Yemen.
- Land forces are using helicopters to map the area near the border to locate infiltrating groups. Naval forces are continuing to impose blockades on Yemeni ports and islands to hinder smuggling operations and to deprive the Houthis of back-up.
- The Houthis attempted to deceive the media by pretending they control more of Aden than they actually do.
- The coalition now controls the suburbs of Aden, in order to prevent pockets of Houthi militia inside the city from receiving support. The coalition's forces are sparing no effort in restoring normalcy to Aden.
- The need to deploy land forces will depend on the success of the coalition's airstrikes.
- Brig. Gen. Asiri denied that the coalition forces targeted civilians or non-military targets. The Yemeni government investigators on the ground have verified that the two controversial sites were subject to ground-to-ground shells. An international investigation will be launched to hold the culprits of these attacks responsible.
- The coalition's forces have called on members of the Yemeni army who were persuaded or coerced into joining the Houthi militia abdicate their position and re-join the legitimate army. The Yemeni government is currently with military commanders and is ready to provide assistance in regrouping, restructuring and reorganizing the Yemeni army in its fight against the militias.
- A lack of legitimacy in Yemen would cause the spread of terrorist groups. Such areas are considered ideal incubators for terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda and the Houthis.
- The Yemeni army is an active participant in the coalition to save Yemen. The groups are working together to liberate the Yemeni people from the grip of the Houthi militias.