152 Pro-Saudi Troops Killed in South Yemen Missile Strike

Saudi Special Forces Commander Among Slain in Attack on Base

In what appears to be the single deadliest strike of the nine-month Saudi war in Yemen, forces loyal to the Shi’ite Houthis fired an OTR-21 Tochka tactical ballistic missile at a pro-Saudi coalition base near Taiz, with early reports putting the death toll around 152 troops.

The identities of all the slain are still being sorted out, but dozens of foreign troops are among the slain, including Saudi Special Forces commander Col. Abdullah Sahyan. Emirati and Moroccan soldiers were also identified as among the slain.

The Houthis reported the attack was carried out by one of the nation’s few remaining Tochka missiles, and reported causing “many losses in lives and military equipment,” claiming to have destroyed Apache helicopters in the strike.

This is the second Tochka missile used in the war, with a previous strike against an Emirati base in Maarib Province back in September, an attack which killed 45 soldiers. These stand as the two deadliest strikes against combatants during the war, though there have been several incidents where scores of civilians were slain.

Yemen was believed to have around 10 Tochka missiles at the start of the war. It is unclear how many remain, as many early attacks targeted bases believed to hold Yemen’s missile arsenals.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.