South Yemen: Shabwa Under the Southern Forces Control Once Again (Update)

Reports

Mon, 10-01-2022 05:02 PM, Aden

Shabwa (South24) 

The Southern Giants Brigades announced on Monday evening the complete liberation of all districts of Shabwa Governorate in South Yemen, from the "Houthi militias". [1]

An official statement stated that the Southern Giants Brigades leadership announced "the completion of the third phase of operation South Tornado with the liberation of the Ain district on the tenth day of operations."

On Sunday, the Giants Brigades announced their control of "Al-Saq" [2] and "Al-Mujibjib" [3] areas. Meanwhile on Monday, they announced their control of "Najd Marqad" area and the 153rd Brigade military camp in Ain district [4]. The Giants stated that their forces continue to advance towards the center of the district.

On Friday, the Giants Brigades gave the Houthis a notice to withdraw from Ain district. The Giants Brigades threatened the Houthis to start an intense ground military campaign with the support of the Arab Coalition. [5] 

The last stronghold

Ain is the third district of Shabwa governorate that the Houthis seized last September, along with the districts of Usaylan and Beihan. [6]

The Giants Brigades recaptured Usaylan district in early January, in the first phase of the military operation "South Tornado". [7] 



On Friday, the Giants' Brigades entered the Upper Beihan district. The Giants took control of the Harib junction (Al-Saadi junction), which links Shabwa and Marib.

With the Giants Forces controlling Ain district, Shabwa governorate will be completely liberated from the Houthis.

Air support

The Saudi-led Coalition planes launched dozens of raids on a daily basis since the start of military operations in Shabwa.

On January 4, the Coalition stated that its air strikes in Shabwa killed 185 Houthi members and destroyed 23 military vehicles. They also announced the killing of 55 Houthis and the destruction of 7 vehicles in Marib. [8] 

A day later, the Coalition announced that 190 Houthi members were killed in raids on Shabwa within 24 hours. They also claimed that 23 military vehicles and a missile launcher were destroyed in the military operations. [9] 

After the liberation of Beihan, STC President, Major General Aidrous Al-Zubaidi confirmed that the Coalition role, which includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE, "emphasized the common destiny." [10]

Houthi missiles

The Houthis used ballistic missiles and short-range missiles in their war in Shabwa.

The Houthis bombed Ataq airport in the capital of Shabwa, on December 29, after the Southern Giants Forces took control over it. No casualties resulted from the bombing.

Two days later, another missile strike on the Giants military camp in the Upper Markha district killed at least 7 soldiers and wounded 15 others.

On January 5, prominent military and security leaders survived a Houthi bombing of a house in Usaylan district.

On the same day, an official STC source stated that 16 civilians were killed by Houthi missile strikes in Usaylan. [11] 

On Saturday, a ballistic missile fell on Upper Beihan in the middle of a residential neighborhood, according to local sources.



Casualties 

Both sides of the war in Shabwa suffered heavy casualties in their fighters. According to the Giants' Forces, hundreds of Houthi fighters died in the clashes. [12] 

The Giants Forces also lost dozens of their soldiers, including senior leaders, most notably the commander of the 3rd Giants Brigade, Colonel Majdi al-Radfani, who died on Saturday in the battles of Beihan.



The Giants also mourned, on January 5, Colonel Samih Al-Subaihi, Chief of Staff of the 2nd Brigade.

On Friday, the commander of the 8th Giants Brigade, Ahmed Al-Maqourah, died of his injuries in the battles to liberate Usaylan district.

On the other hand, the Houthis announced on Friday the killing of their senior leader "Ahmed Al-Mihdhar". The group appointed Al-Mihdhar as Secretary-general for Shabwa governorate. [13]

Military sources confirm to "South24" that other Houthi military leaders were killed in Beihan battles, which the group did not announce.

After Shabwa

After the liberation of Usaylan, the head of the STC National Assembly, Ahmed bin Brik, stipulated that the Northern forces be removed from South before the Southern forces would participate against the Houthis in North.

Major General Ahmed bin Brik said tweeted that the Northern forces in Abyan, Wadi Hadramout and Al-Mahra should be at the "front of the ranks" on the Northern fronts. [14]

Shabwa is geographically adjacent to the governorates of Marib and Al-Bayda, and the Houthis have taken the latter as a base since taking control of it completely last September.

The group's members entered the three governorates of Shabwa through the border area of Nati' in Al-Bayda in the same month.

Marib Governorate has also witnessed fierce battles since June 2020 between the Houthis and pro-Yemeni government forces and tribes.

The Houthis managed to control large parts of Marib, and intensified their attack to control the city of Marib, the last stronghold of the internationally recognized government in North Yemen. [15] 

South24 Center for News and Studies
Photo: Giants Forces remove Houthi slogans and replace it with their official logo in a mosque near the city of Beihan, January 06, 2022 (extracted - Giants media)

South Yeme Shabwa Giants Houthis Marib Yemen Beihan Conflict STC Missile Coalition