Continued Attacks on Ships in Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Pave the Way for Ground War in Yemen

Sheba Intelligence | 2024-01-30 02:25 PM UTC


Omani-Qatari mediation has contributed to reducing the escalation in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden between international forces and the Ansar Allah (Houthi) group, diplomatic sources told Sheba Intelligence today.

However, after an attack on the American base in Jordan, the sources expect the attacks to return as the American forces prepare to launch surprise strikes on locations accommodating Iranian military advisors in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Yesterday, the Houthis said they launched an attack on the U.S. warship Lewis B. Puller in the Gulf of Aden. However, American officials denied such a claim.

Intelligence sources told Sheba Intelligence that during the past few hours, the Houthi group transferred ballistic missiles from farms in Bajil to the Alkathif coast in Al-Hudaydah, and the group is preparing to launch new attacks with rockets and booby-trapped boats on ships the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The sources added that a military meeting was held in the Al-Sawad area in Sanaa, which included senior Houthi leaders, including Abdul Khaleq Al-Houthi, and Iranian experts responsible for the missile force. The meeting discussed the escalation in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, including launching missile attacks on Gulf military facilities used by American forces.

Military sources said that the UAE-backed Giants forces regained positions from Houthi fighters in the Al-Quwaim area in Bayhan, Shabwah, and the battle left dozens of injuries from both sides.

The sources pointed out that the quality weapons, particularly thermal missiles, anti-armor, and self-propelled artillery, which the Giants Forces used, significantly prevented the Houthis from advancing toward Bayhan.

If the Houthis control Bayhan, it would be easier for them to control the and gas pipeline between Safer in Marib and Belhaf in Shabwah, as well as the oil pipeline between Bir Ali terminal and the Jannah oil fields.

The sources added that the Giants forces were able to capture some Houthi fighters in Bayhan, including two military leaders, one from Al-Bayda and the other from Amran, and they have databases of the fighters and social leaders who will cooperate with the Houthi group.

The Houthis escalated their operations on several fronts, as there was an exchange of artillery shelling on the Yatma front in Al-Jawf over the past few days. They also attacked sites controlled by the Saudi-backed Tawhid Brigade in Al-Buqa' in Saada on the border with Saudi Arabia, where dozens of fighters from both sides were killed and wounded.

The Houthis are mobilizing forces from camps in Dhamar and Al-Bayda provinces to the areas bordering Bayhan Shabwah, such as Harib and Al-Juba, south of Marib.

The Houthis transferred ballistic missiles from the Kahlan camp in Saada to the Baqim area, where there are forces affiliated with the Yemeni government and supported by Saudi Arabia are stationed. The Houthi group also installed drone launchers in the Al-Hamzat area in Saada.

Ballistic missiles were also transferred from Sanaa to the areas of Al-Matma in Al-Jawf, Al-Asha, and Harf Sufyan in Amran. The group also carried out maneuvers in Amran, Saada, and Al-Jawf over the past few days. It also prepared to launch missiles from Mukayris toward the Gulf of Aden.

The U.S. and U.K. plan to provide aerial support to Yemeni forces to carry out ground military operations against the Ansar Allah (Houthi) group, a member of the Houthi Supreme Political Council said on Tuesday.

Ali Al-Qahoum said the British and American forces have failed to stop the Houthi attacks on the Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

Consequently, these two Western countries, according to Al-Qahoum, will push "mercenaries, including Saudi-UAE-backed Yemeni forces," to launch ground attacks on Houthi-controlled territories.

The American-British purpose of these operations is "to achieve any field military advances that would save face and restore some the U.S.-UK's fallen glory…," he said.

Since January 12, the U.S. and U.K. have launched a string of airstrikes on Houthi sites in many provinces to degrade the group's military capabilities. However, the airstrikes have not yielded the desired result as Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden continue nonstop.

Opting for military operations on the ground has been a considered scenario. On Monday, Yemen's UN-recognized government warned the Houthi group of the consequences of field escalation in light of the group's military buildup on the Marib, Taiz, Al-Jawf and Shabwah fronts.

Mohsen Al-Daeri, the Minister of Defense, briefed the cabinet in Aden on the latest military developments, the continued deployment of the Houthi forces on various fronts, and the high readiness of the armed forces to deal with this escalation.

Al-Daari indicated that the Houthi movements of forces and their assaults on shipping lanes  confirm that "deterring this group will only be achieved by completing the restoration of the state and ending the Houthi coup."

On Saturday, Rashad al-Alimi, head of Yemen's Presidential Leadership Council (PLC),  said that the U.S. and British strikes on the Houthis are not enough, calling for U.S. and Saudi support to "eliminate" the Houthi ability to stage attacks on shipping lines in the Red Sea.

He added, "The solution is to eliminate the Houthis' military capabilities" through American and Saudi support for ground operations in Yemen.

Last week, the Houthi War Council discussed the recent American-British strikes, and the Council had taken the U.S.-UK statements about their long-term operations in Yemen seriously, informed sources told Sheba Intelligence.

The sources added, "The group is studying options with the Iranian advisors present in Yemen while continuing to escalate and prepare for an asymmetric war in the Red Sea and the Yemeni coasts."


The sources indicated that the Houthis are expecting an attack by the American and British naval forces on the ports of Al-Salif and Al-Hudaydah and other Yemeni islands, such as  Kamaran Island, which is under the Houthi control.