The last weeks of 2020 brought little joy to the Saudi-led coalition, which has slowly been losing its remaining positions in central Yemen.
On December 21, the Ansar Allah movement (more widely known as the Houthis) announced that its forces had shot down a Chinese-made CH4 unmanned combat aerial vehicle operated by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. The incident took place in the province of Marib.
The CH4 was conducting strikes in support of pro-Saudi-forces, which are on retreat under pressure from the Houthis and their local allies. As of December 22, the Houthis continue their advance towards the provincial capital. The most intense clashes have been taking place near Raghwan and Madghal. Yemeni forces are also shelling the Tadawin Camp, which is located north of the city.
As soon as the Houthis secure the northern flank of the road towards Marib, they are likely to start an advance on the city itself.
Meanwhile, the Houthi media wing released several reports showcasing the ground and naval forces of the Houthi-led government, which controls the country’s capital. In particular, reports showcased an Iranian-style mosquito fleet of fast craft armed with various weapons. The Houthis use this fleet to secure the shore of the western coast of Yemen.
Another interesting fact is the Bass-1 armored vehicle recently revealed during the inauguration ceremony of the Interior Ministry’s Security Manufacturing Unit in Sanaa. The Bass-1, which the Houthis claim is created “with Yemeni hands and experience” is intended to be used for security operations on the territories liberated from Saudi proxies.
The release of the Bass-1 vehicle proves, once again, that the Saudi blockade on Yemen has a very limited effect on the Houthis’ military capabilities. Rather, the Saudi efforts largely affect the civilian population and contribute to the development of the humanitarian crisis, which erupted as a result of the intervention.