CAIRO —Yemeni rebels on Sunday said they carried out a major assault on forces of a Saudi Arabian-led coalition near the two nations’ border, releasing footage they say shows hundreds of captured troops, including Saudi officers, and destroyed Saudi military vehicles. The rebels also said they killed or wounded 500 coalition soldiers.
The Saudi-led coalition has yet to respond to the rebels’ claims. If confirmed, the assault would represent one of the most significant victories for the Iranian-aligned rebels, known as Houthis, in the nearly five-year civil war gripping the Middle East’s poorest nation.
The Houthi-owned Al-Masirah television network on Sunday broadcast footage showing a long, snaking line of what the rebels said were captured troops walking in rugged terrain. Many of the men, who apparently surrendered to the rebels, were dressed in flip flops and the traditional sarong-like clothing worn in Yemen and parts of Saudi Arabia. A handful wore tan camouflage uniforms. At least two of the men said on camera that they were citizens of Saudi Arabia.
Other images showed burning armored vehicles with Saudi markings and weapons that the Houthis said they seized. Houthi fighters are also shown apparently launching attacks on coalition troops, clashes that left what appears to be corpses in Saudi military uniforms.
If claims about the attack are found to be credible, it is certain to fuel more concerns in Washington and Riyadh that Iran is behind the rebels’ growing military capabilities, which in recent months have included numerous drone and cruise missile attacks on Saudi soil.