Yemen

AQAP are busy in Yemen, one of the drivers for the KSA/UAE invasion. It and its predecessors are the biggest internal terrorist threat. They're still active in the kingdom and periodically there's a shoot out. What happened in Syria has been sobering for the populace at large and has totally shattered any romanticism attached to jihad. A fortunate and purely co-incidental benefit is those who felt inclined to have a bash haven't generally returned as they did from Afghanistan, mainly due to being severly dead.

There hasn't been much in the way of shia terrorism, dissent yes, AQAP and its predecessors were always it though they may have assisted Iran/Houthi with the latest cruise/drone attacks. Iran was facilitating AQ way back, because they were the guys to do stuff in kingdom.

Pressure for change is the same as in the other ME dictatorships/repressive regimes (including Iran) and comes for the visions they see of the West and elsewhere. The Arab Spring hasn't died, see Egypt. This is what MBS is most worried about.
You make an excellent point. The romanticism does tend to fade somewhat overtime and jihad has probably exhausted itself somewhat for now..... In the case of the Saudis, we also have a jealously of the haves and have nots and a tiredness of corruption, otherwise known as the arab springs, or the earlier talib effect in Afghanistan.

The original query; I tried to answer, was why the KSA have mercs on the frontier and why they couldn't redeploy troops from internal security. One assumes another very large order for ordnance will be in the pipeline(pardon the pun) as we speak.
 
(...) The original query; I tried to answer, was why the KSA have mercs on the frontier and why they couldn't redeploy troops from internal security. One assumes another very large order for ordnance will be in the pipeline(pardon the pun) as we speak.
It might help to keep in mind that the Saudi armed forces are not an undifferentiated mass. There are different units with different roles, different make ups, and different levels of quality.

What we are mainly looking at here is likely somewhere near the bottom of the pecking order. Their arms, uniforms (or lack thereof), and the primitive living conditions in their outpost (if you want to call a few tents and piles of rocks in the middle of a garbage midden an outpost) all suggest that. Just what their connection is with the Saudi National Guard is in fact an open question for us.

I would not be surprised if someone dropped the ball with respect to failing to see the approaching Houthi attack, and that someone also tried to cover up this failure from his superiors, which resulted in a inadequate evacuation effort. Otherwise, I would have expected more air support given instead of the rather feeble and ineffective response we saw in the video.

To more directly address the question of why using mercenaries on the frontier, I would guess that the job is unpleasant and dangerous, and so it's much cheaper and less politically contentious to hire expendable mercenaries and give them inadequate material and support.
 
It might help to keep in mind that the Saudi armed forces are not an undifferentiated mass. There are different units with different roles, different make ups, and different levels of quality.

What we are mainly looking at here is likely somewhere near the bottom of the pecking order. Their arms, uniforms (or lack thereof), and the primitive living conditions in their outpost (if you want to call a few tents and piles of rocks in the middle of a garbage midden an outpost) all suggest that. Just what their connection is with the Saudi National Guard is in fact an open question for us.

I would not be surprised if someone dropped the ball with respect to failing to see the approaching Houthi attack, and that someone also tried to cover up this failure from his superiors, which resulted in a inadequate evacuation effort. Otherwise, I would have expected more air support given instead of the rather feeble and ineffective response we saw in the video.

To more directly address the question of why using mercenaries on the frontier, I would guess that the job is unpleasant and dangerous, and so it's much cheaper and less politically contentious to hire expendable mercenaries and give them inadequate material and support.
Which then leads back to the critical point of 'morale'.... The Saudis like all the gulf states treat their third worlders like s**t. Its perfectly possible the problem was the mens morale was already rock bottom and that would account for the defeat more than anything else.
 
It might help to keep in mind that the Saudi armed forces are not an undifferentiated mass. There are different units with different roles, different make ups, and different levels of quality.

What we are mainly looking at here is likely somewhere near the bottom of the pecking order. Their arms, uniforms (or lack thereof), and the primitive living conditions in their outpost (if you want to call a few tents and piles of rocks in the middle of a garbage midden an outpost) all suggest that. Just what their connection is with the Saudi National Guard is in fact an open question for us.

I would not be surprised if someone dropped the ball with respect to failing to see the approaching Houthi attack, and that someone also tried to cover up this failure from his superiors, which resulted in a inadequate evacuation effort. Otherwise, I would have expected more air support given instead of the rather feeble and ineffective response we saw in the video.

To more directly address the question of why using mercenaries on the frontier, I would guess that the job is unpleasant and dangerous, and so it's much cheaper and less politically contentious to hire expendable mercenaries and give them inadequate material and support.
All agreed. The only thing I would add is that the ball is being dropped on a regular basis - if not quite on the same scale. The 'outpost attacked and captured' videos are a staple of Houthi PR.
I don't know how they are positioned or manned. The only thing those we see seem to be achieving is providing the Houthi with easy wins, equipment, and PR.
Re. air-support (and this is again based on video, so subject to error) aircraft are seen overhead but often when the Houthi are v close to the KSA forces. The closeness might inhibit the use of Saudi helis, etc, particularly if FAC are not a thing in the Saudi border forces.
Genuine question: even if mercenaries are being employed, why maintain a system/ setup which appears not to be successful? It is a waste of resources if nothing else.
 
It might help to keep in mind that the Saudi armed forces are not an undifferentiated mass. There are different units with different roles, different make ups, and different levels of quality.

What we are mainly looking at here is likely somewhere near the bottom of the pecking order. Their arms, uniforms (or lack thereof), and the primitive living conditions in their outpost (if you want to call a few tents and piles of rocks in the middle of a garbage midden an outpost) all suggest that. Just what their connection is with the Saudi National Guard is in fact an open question for us.

I would not be surprised if someone dropped the ball with respect to failing to see the approaching Houthi attack, and that someone also tried to cover up this failure from his superiors, which resulted in a inadequate evacuation effort. Otherwise, I would have expected more air support given instead of the rather feeble and ineffective response we saw in the video.

To more directly address the question of why using mercenaries on the frontier, I would guess that the job is unpleasant and dangerous, and so it's much cheaper and less politically contentious to hire expendable mercenaries and give them inadequate material and support.
They're not KSA regular forces full stop. They're also not looking like SANG tribal militia to my eyes.

As I've posted previously, they look much more like Yemeni fighters. KSA has been training them and shipping them back south. Guy talks about when they're going home on the phone, convoy gets whacked somewhere, not necessarily in KSA.

@Whiskybreath Any comments?
 
All agreed. The only thing I would add is that the ball is being dropped on a regular basis - if not quite on the same scale. The 'outpost attacked and captured' videos are a staple of Houthi PR.
I don't know how they are positioned or manned. The only thing those we see seem to be achieving is providing the Houthi with easy wins, equipment, and PR.
Re. air-support (and this is again based on video, so subject to error) aircraft are seen overhead but often when the Houthi are v close to the KSA forces. The closeness might inhibit the use of Saudi helis, etc, particularly if FAC are not a thing in the Saudi border forces.
Genuine question: even if mercenaries are being employed, why maintain a system/ setup which appears not to be successful? It is a waste of resources if nothing else.
See my previous, it's a big and inhospitable border. You can't have AH-64 everywhere and the incident didn't necessarily take place in KSA.

The Houthi have played the propaganda game well since the start of this campaign. An M1/Bradley/LAV that's been killed is morphed into ten with different shots.
 
See my previous, it's a big and inhospitable border. You can't have AH-64 everywhere and the incident didn't necessarily take place in KSA.

The Houthi have played the propaganda game well since the start of this campaign. An M1/Bradley/LAV that's been killed is morphed into ten with different shots.
True.
I defer to your knowledge of the area.
Re. the PR angle, some of what is seen is impressive, for what seems to be primarily infantry-type force. An example is below:
 
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True.
I defer to your knowledge of the area.
Re. the PR angle, some of what is seen is impressive, for what seems to be primarily infantry-type force. An example is below:
If you have a 1,000+ mile border you're bollixed. Anywhere.

As 've said, the Yeminis are hard little feckers and this plays to their strengths, they're in no rush to hit anywhere, they can monitor and be selective. Tee up the cameraman and attack a lone post.

A lot of this stems from GW1 when KSA kicked out Yemeni workers, around a million by some accounts but nobody is sure. They were a significant contribution to the Yemeni economy and the loss was felt.
 
They're not KSA regular forces full stop. They're also not looking like SANG tribal militia to my eyes.

As I've posted previously, they look much more like Yemeni fighters. KSA has been training them and shipping them back south. Guy talks about when they're going home on the phone, convoy gets whacked somewhere, not necessarily in KSA.

@Whiskybreath Any comments?
Sorry, I really only had to interact with the RSAF Police, and came that >< close to getting thrown out of the country for calling them a bunch of 'incompetent c**ts'. I didn't know that the Corporal had much, much wasta with the GOC RSAF. Luckily, I can write superb letters of bullshit justification.
 
Sorry, I really only had to interact with the RSAF Police, and came that >< close to getting thrown out of the country for calling them a bunch of 'incompetent c**ts'. I didn't know that the Corporal had much, much wasta with the GOC RSAF. Luckily, I can write superb letters of bullshit justification.
If you've didn't come close to getting kicked out you weren't trying. How long until one of these babies pitches up in Houthi hands?
 
The Saudis have engaged in a prisoner swap with the Houthis, in a deal brokered by the UN. This is intended to help advance the situation towards a peace deal.
Saudis free 200 Houthi rebels as part of peace efforts in Yemen
The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said Tuesday it has released 200 Houthi rebels to advance a UN-brokered deal aimed at ending the war in the Arab world's poorest country.

Coalition spokesperson Col. Turki al-Malki said in a statement that the move was aimed at paving the way for a larger and long-delayed prisoner swap agreed upon last December.

Rebel leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi welcomed the move, calling on the coalition to release "all war prisoners."
 
A ballistic missile attack in southern Yemen has killed nine and wounded more than twenty at a military parade.
Missile attack kills 9 at military parade in Yemen's south
A ballistic missile attack ripped through a military parade for a Yemeni southern separatist group that's backed by the United Arab Emirates, killing at least six troops and three children, a spokesperson said Sunday.
The parade was being conducted by UAE backed separatists known as the "Resistance Forces" who oppose the "official" government of Yemen, with the latter being backed by Saudi Arabia. They also oppose the Houthis, but it's not clear how their separatist agenda would intersect with that of the Houthis.
The explosion took place while the separatists, known as the Resistance Forces, were wrapping up a parade for new recruits at a soccer field in the capital of Dhale province, said Maged al-Shoebi, a spokesperson for the group, by phone to The Associated Press.

The southern separatists are allied with the Saudi-led coalition that's been fighting Yemen's Houthi rebels. But the UAE-backed southerners are currently at odds with Yemen's internationally recognized government, which is more closely allied with Saudi Arabia. Cracks within the anti-Houthi bloc have widened over the past several months.
However, the Resistance Forces have blamed the Houthis for the attack.
More than 20 people including civilians were wounded in the blast, al-Shoebi said. He blamed the Houthis for the attack. The rebel group did not immediately comment.
 
It might help to keep in mind that the Saudi armed forces are not an undifferentiated mass. There are different units with different roles, different make ups, and different levels of quality.

What we are mainly looking at here is likely somewhere near the bottom of the pecking order. Their arms, uniforms (or lack thereof), and the primitive living conditions in their outpost (if you want to call a few tents and piles of rocks in the middle of a garbage midden an outpost) all suggest that. Just what their connection is with the Saudi National Guard is in fact an open question for us.

I would not be surprised if someone dropped the ball with respect to failing to see the approaching Houthi attack, and that someone also tried to cover up this failure from his superiors, which resulted in a inadequate evacuation effort. Otherwise, I would have expected more air support given instead of the rather feeble and ineffective response we saw in the video.

To more directly address the question of why using mercenaries on the frontier, I would guess that the job is unpleasant and dangerous, and so it's much cheaper and less politically contentious to hire expendable mercenaries and give them inadequate material and support.
Quite correct regarding the distribution of different types of unit in the Saudi armed forces. Northern and Eastern region divisions are comprised largely of MTBs and Medium tanks supported by mechanized infantry. The Eastern Province divisions at KKMC Hafr Al Batin did deploy their infantry to the Yemen border in the late 1990s for a few months, but the armor remained in situ and were joined by the Northern armored divisions for a major pre-GW2 field exercise in 2001.

With the National Guard having a predominantly internal role, It wouldn't surprise me if the Saudi's enlisted the help of Pakistani troops who used to provide a formal defense force in the earlier days of the Kingdom. Another factor that may (or not) have relevance is that the Saudi's are terribly class conscious and it may well be that they took the view that it wasn't worth deploying their best units to face what they might have regarded as an inferior force.

KKMC Pic the light oblong buildings at the bottom edge are the tank sheds.
380px-Satellite_photo_King_Khalid_Military_City_June_2002.jpg
 

Yokel

LE
A ballistic missile attack in southern Yemen has killed nine and wounded more than twenty at a military parade.
Missile attack kills 9 at military parade in Yemen's south


The parade was being conducted by UAE backed separatists known as the "Resistance Forces" who oppose the "official" government of Yemen, with the latter being backed by Saudi Arabia. They also oppose the Houthis, but it's not clear how their separatist agenda would intersect with that of the Houthis.


However, the Resistance Forces have blamed the Houthis for the attack.
So a three way conflict? That will make peace even harder to find. Meanwhile the children suffer.

Quite correct regarding the distribution of different types of unit in the Saudi armed forces. Northern and Eastern region divisions are comprised largely of MTBs and Medium tanks supported by mechanized infantry. The Eastern Province divisions at KKMC Hafr Al Batin did deploy their infantry to the Yemen border in the late 1990s for a few months, but the armor remained in situ and were joined by the Northern armored divisions for a major pre-GW2 field exercise in 2001.

With the National Guard having a predominantly internal role, It wouldn't surprise me if the Saudi's enlisted the help of Pakistani troops who used to provide a formal defense force in the earlier days of the Kingdom. Another factor that may (or not) have relevance is that the Saudi's are terribly class conscious and it may well be that they took the view that it wasn't worth deploying their best units to face what they might have regarded as an inferior force.

KKMC Pic the light oblong buildings at the bottom edge are the tank sheds.View attachment 440259
Would Pakistan being willing to allow its forces to be employed in Yemen? What is their view on the situation? Also they have a border with Iran, so would they risk Iranian activities on their own soil?

The West seems disinterested which is odd as all the oil shipping goes past Yemen.
 
So a three way conflict? That will make peace even harder to find. Meanwhile the children suffer.



Would Pakistan being willing to allow its forces to be employed in Yemen? What is their view on the situation? Also they have a border with Iran, so would they risk Iranian activities on their own soil?

The West seems disinterested which is odd as all the oil shipping goes past Yemen.
I very much doubt there would be any formal Pakistani involvement, but hidden in the Saudi hinterland are a very large number of 'left behind' of varying nationalities - particularly on the Red Sea side from Ethopia, Somalia and so on. Those Pakistani vets I have come across are usually the QM bean counter type who would be able to function in admin or training capacity perhaps. Sudanese were also plentiful, but perhaps less likely to be so stricken as to enrol. Clearly however, the Saudi's have found people from somewhere.

The lack of Western interest possibly lies in reasonable long memories of the last colonial power in the area and its rapid withdrawal in '67. Then of course, there are the Omani's on the eastern side - good soldiers, possibly too bright to become involved though. It is a mess.
 

Yokel

LE
I would never advocate the West getting involved if we can possibly avoid it, but there is a serious lack of diplomatic pressure on the Saudis and UAE. We do not have much scope for diplomacy with Iran, but someone must have. It is a humanitarian tragedy (perhaps they could exert pressure for safe corridors for aid?)), a ready made haven for terrorists, and a threat to the oil shipping routes.

Nature abhors a vacuum!
 
So a three way conflict? That will make peace even harder to find. Meanwhile the children suffer.
There's likely a lot more than three sides involved.

There's talk about the country splitting up again, into North, South, and possibly Aden off by itself.

Would Pakistan being willing to allow its forces to be employed in Yemen? What is their view on the situation? Also they have a border with Iran, so would they risk Iranian activities on their own soil?

The West seems disinterested which is odd as all the oil shipping goes past Yemen.
Baluchis hire themselves out as mercenaries to various oil sheikdoms. They have a very long history of that sort of thing.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
So a three way conflict? That will make peace even harder to find. Meanwhile the children suffer.



Would Pakistan being willing to allow its forces to be employed in Yemen? What is their view on the situation? Also they have a border with Iran, so would they risk Iranian activities on their own soil?

The West seems disinterested which is odd as all the oil shipping goes past Yemen.
It was a three way conflict back in the day, too. @old_fat_and hairy may remember better than me, but the British were opposed by Flosy and another 'band of freedom fighters'.

We left the place intact, with housing, hospitals, schools, irrigation, roads and civilisation.

They wanted Independence and promptly started fighting between themselves once they got it. I have no sympathy.

Edited to add NLF or National Liberation Front were the others.

Splitters.
 
Would appear that AQAP have a bit of a problem.

 
The poor feckers don't have it easy do they?
 

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