In an attempt to establish their first military control in the northern Saada Province of Yemen, pro-Saudi forces have launched a new offensive against the al-Buqa border crossing, with heavy clashes occurring overnight and wildly conflicting reports of the results.
Pro-Saudi officials claimed the offensive was a success, and that they controlled not just the crossing but also the town itself. The Houthi-allied governor, however, insisted that the claims were “an illusion” and that the pro-Saudi forces had not seized a single inch of territory inside Yemen.
One thing both sides seemed to agree on, however, was that the fighting was ongoing. This is the first serious attempt at the Saada Province in the entire war, though the province has been heavily targeted by Saudi airstrikes. Fighting along the border has mostly been further east.
The Saada Province covers the Houthis’ traditional power base, and a military offensive against the province back in 2014 eventually ended with a Houthi counterattack capturing the capital city and ousting former President Hadi, who is now backed by the Saudis.