Saudis Dismiss Claimed Loss in Jizan as ‘Lies’
According to officials from the Shi’ite Houthi movement, Yemeni Houthi forces fighting along the border with the Saudi military have crossed into the southern Jizan region, capturing a military post inside Saudi Arabia, seizing weapons left behind by the border troops.
This is the first time since the Saudi invasion of Yemen last year that any territory inside Saudi Arabia has been lost, and Saudi officials claimed the Houthis were lying about the incident, and that the post had not been overrun by rebel fighters.
It would not be an unprecedented move, however, as during earlier Houthi uprisings in northern Yemen they often took territory across the ill-defined border, claiming it to actually belong to Yemen. In 2003, Saudi Arabia built a barrier along the border, as they claim it to exist.
Before 2003, the “border” meant very little, and treaties between Yemen and Saudi Arabia allowed herdsmen from either country to graze within a substantial region on either side of the border. The war has made fighting along that border more common, and it seemed only a matter of time until the Houthis would move back into Yemen.
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