Yemen’s Ansar Allah Advancing In Marib And Shabwah Fronts
ISWNews Analysis Group – The recent strikes by the Saudi-led coalition forces to retake defense lines of Harib district in southern Marib Governorate as well as Markhah al-Oliya district in western Shabwah Governorate have faced strong resistance by Ansar Allah movement; so, the attacks doomed to failure.
After two weeks since the onset of clashes between Ansar Allah forces and the militants affiliated to the Saudi-led coalition in Harib front in southern Marib and Markhah al-Oliya front in western Shabwah, the attacks by the Amaliqah Forces and Shabwa Defense Forces came to an end without any progress; so, it can be said that Ansar Allah fighters’ advancement has been consolidated in these axes.
The confrontation in Harib front erupted after the Amaliqah Forces presumed that ceasefire has been on place in some fronts; so, they retreated from some areas, but the Ansar Allah took the opportunity and entered some regions such as Arak, Sharq, al-Sih, Jebel Ba’ra and Hiror. Then, the Amaliqah Forces began fighting Ansar Allah movement in order to retake its lost defense lines, but the confrontation has not yet borne any fruit and the Ansar Allah has still upper hand in this front.
According to sources on the ground, who are working with the Islamic World News, the Ansar Allah movement has consolidated its grip on western and southwestern heights of Harib region; so, fire control by the movement on this axis has led to the situation that the Amaliqah Forces and other units under the supervision of the Saudi-led coalition have lost their grip on these areas.
Markhah al-Oliya Front
Movements of the Amaliqah Forces and their affiliated forces towards the Harib front have prompted the Ansar Allah fighters to carry out some hit-and-run attacks with the aim of hindering potential military operation by these enemies.
Naturally, the confrontations have inflicted death tolls and material losses on both sides; however, the news stories published in recent two weeks show that the Saudi-led coalition forces particularly the Amaliqah Forces have suffered from heavy blows and they experienced more difficult condition in comparison to other Saudi-led forces.
Are the conflicts a sort of violating the existing ceasefire?
Undoubtedly, the clashes will affect the Yemen peace negotiations, but they have nothing to do with the ceasefire and even violation of the foreign-mediated truce. Given the fact that the Yemen ceasefire has not been renewed since September 2022, there is not any kind of accord or obligation to refrain confrontations in different fronts in the war-stricken country; thus, the recent advances by the Ansar Allah movement cannot be considered as a violation of any truce and agreement.
Would the advances lead to unity among the Saudi-led coalition groups?
The Saudi-led coalition forces are in a deep power struggle. Saudi Arabia has created Al-Dara’ Al-Watan and the Islah Party and dispatched them to southern governorates of Yemen in a bid to decrease the might of the Southern Transitional Council (STC). On the other hand, political tension between officials of the resigned government of Yemen and heads of the Islah Party still continues; so, there are some speculations that chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council Rashad al-Alimi may dispatch militants to Marib Governorate and other regions that are under the control of the Islah Party.
Therefore, the clashes between the Ansar Allah movement and the Amaliqah Forces or other militants affiliated to the resigned government of Yemen can decline the pressures imposed on the STC; then, it can maintain power balance among different Saudi-led groups.
In conclusion, the control of the resigned government on Shabwah and Marib governorates, which possess abundant resources of oil and gas, would not be in favor of the Ansar Allah. The population of areas under the control of Ansar Allah is much more than the number of inhabitants in the occupied territories, and the movement is in dire need of oil resources to meet demands of this part of Yemen in order to revitalize its economic power. Despite the fact that Ansar Allah tries to prevent looting of oil resources by the resigned government, the economic warfare is still looming, and the pressures by the US and the UK gets in the way of pursuing Saudi Arabia to give concessions in peace negotiations with Yemen.