The Battle of Hodeidah – part 1


"On June 17 and 18, the Saudi-led coalition and its proxies, backed up by French special operations forces, continued their military operation in order to capture the port city of al-Hudayadh in western Yemen from the Houthis and their allies.

The goal of forces of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and their proxies is to outflank the Houthi-held port city from the eastern flank and to isolate it from the rest of the Houthi-held area.

The coalition’s operation started on June 13 from an attempt to capture the al-Hudaydah airport, which is located south of the city. By June 18, the coalition’s forces had entered the airport and launched an attempt to enter al-Hudaydah city itself. At the same time, a group of coalition-led forces advanced on the Al-Matahen roundabout aiming to capture the eastern flank of the port city.

These efforts are actively supported by strikes of the coalition’s airpower and artillery. Coalition-led forces also have a significant advantage in military equipment over the Houthis. However, there is a problem.

The coalition’s supply lines are overstretched over the western Yemeni coast. The Houthis use this to carry out attacks on reinforcements and supply convoys of the coalition heading to al-Hudaydah."  SF


We haven't heard from Patrick Bahzad about Yemen.  I suppose the reason is obvious.

Long ago when I was the military attaché in North Yemen I visited the airport under discussion when it was under construction by a British company.  My predecessor had known the site manager well and we dropped by to see him at his mobilization camp on the site.   The frustrations involved in trying to build anything in Yemen wore the man down and he died a couple of months later of a heart attack brought on by exhaustion.  I had arranged a USAF air ambulance evacuation to Britain but he died before they arrived in Britain.  I don't know who paid for the airfield but it was clearly in excess of the needs of a small city like Hodeidah.  During my tour of duty as DATT in Sanaa the first modern pier was built out at the end of that long peninsula at Hodeidah.  I handled several US Navy ship visits at Hodeidah.  These were Newport County class LSTs.  These were big, modern ships and when they came to visit they performed maintenance gratis on Yemeni "Navy" patrol boats the Yemenis had acquired from some European donor but could not keep running.  The US ships had all the machine shops on board needed to manufacture parts.  I had proposed to the Yemenis earlier that they establish a partnership with the US Coast Guard but they would not accept the idea that USCG was something other than a few cops in motor boats.  The commander of their "navy" consulted Sanaa and said that it would be beneath their dignity for their "navy" to be advised by a police force..  That pretty much says it all about Yemen then and now.  Ah, I can hear the bleeding hearts as they will whine about the poor wretches in places like Yemen.  Well, it is true.  They are poor wretches, but they are largely responsible for their plight.

Having said that I think the Saudi led, US supported war against Yemen is despicable.  I hope Mattis the Terrible reads that.

Hodeidah, its port and airfield are probably decisive objectives.  Loss of them will be crippling to the Houthis and to the part of the Yemen Army allied with the Houthis.  There are a few other small ports  like Mocha but they would be inadequate to the foreign support needed for the anti-Saudi cause.  The tribal guerrilla war in the mountains would continue but the game would largely be "up."

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