Saudi Arabia Order of Battle for the Al Houthi Conflict

November 16, 2009

Photo of Saudi troops. (Photo by Lietmotiv, available at Flickr.)
 
 

CTP provides a breakdown of units that are currently engaged in the conflict along Yemen’s northwest border with the al Houthi rebels, as well as units that may be involved based on their areas of responsibility. The document only provides information that could be confirmed using open source material.

 

Al Houthi Conflict Theater (Along Yemeni Border)  

 

Army Units: Southern Area Command HQ[1]- King Abd al-Aziz Military City (KAAMC) – Khamis Mushayt (objective of this Command is to protect border with Yemen)

  •  4th Armored Brigade[2] - Khamis Mushayt (confirmed deployment to Yemeni border area)[3]

  • 10th Mechanized Brigade[4] - Khamis Mushayt

  • 11th Mechanized Brigade[5] - Khamis Mushayt

 

Royal Guard Regiment HQ[6] - Riyadh

  • King Abdul Aziz Military City – Khamis Mushayt Area

 

Saudi Paratroopers[7] – Tabuk Army Base (Paratroop Commander Prince Fahd Turki Bin Abdul Aziz[8]) (1,300 troops confirmed to have been deployed to Jebel al Dokhan area near border)[9]  

 

2 Aviation Brigade (Attack Helicopters)[10] – King Khalid Military City (confirmed deployment to al Shada area near border)[11]

  • Attack Helicopter-64A

 

Saudi Special Forces – Airborne Brigade HQ[12] - Riyadh (confirmed deployment from Airborne Brigade to Jebel al Dokhan area near border)[13]

 

Note: Saudi Arabia is building a fourth military installation in Jizan Province, which is the site of the current conflict on the Yemeni border.[14]

 

Air Force Units:

 

King Khalid air base (18° 18' 29" N; 42° 48' 20" E)[15] - Khamis Mushayt    

Royal Saudi Air Force 5 Wing[16] (confirmed deployment to Yemeni border area)            

  • No. 6 Squadron (F-15S/Multirole Fighter)[17] – Khamis Mushayt

  • No. 55 Squadron (F-15S/Multirole Fighter)[18] – Khamis Mushayt

  • No. 99 Squadron (Cougar Mk II/Combat Support)[19] – Khamis Mushayt

Detachment (AB 212/Utility Transport/Search and Rescue)[20] – Khamis Mushayt

Detachment (Bell 412/Utility Transport/Search and Rescue)[21] – Khamis Mushayt

 

King Faisal Air Base (28° 21' 55" N; 36° 37' 08" E)[22] - Tabuk

Royal Saudi Air Force 7 Wing[23] (confirmed deployment to Yemeni border area)[24]                                    

  • No. 29 Squadron (Tornado ADV/Air Defence)[25] – Tabuk

  • No. 2 Squadron (F-15C/Air Defence)[26] – Tabuk

 

Navy Units:

The Saudi Navy has established a blockade along the west coast of Yemen to prevent the shipment of arms and reinforcements to the al Houthi rebels. The Navy has deployed at least 4,000 personnel, which could include Marines, to support the blockade.[27] 

Western Fleet Bases (Red Sea)[28]

  • Yanbu (naval facility in civilian port)

  • Al Wajh (naval facility for patrol boats in civilian port)

  • Haqi (naval facility for patrol boats in civilian port)

  • Duba (naval facility in civilian oil terminal)

  • As Sharmah (naval facility for patrol boats in civilian port)

  • Tamwah (naval facility for patrol boats in civilian port)

  • Jizan – (Col. Muaed Al-Shumrani, Chief of Saudi Naval Forces in Jizan[29])

 

Western Fleet ships[30] (Western Fleet ships are confirmed to have deployed to implement blockade, but specific units involved are unknown)

  • La Fayette Type F-3000S frigates

  • Al Madina-class frigates

  • As Siddiq-class fast attack craft (missile)

  • Halter-class patrol craft

  • Simmoneau 51-class inshore patrol craft

  • Durrance-class replenishment ships

 

Royal Saudi Marines[31]

  • 2nd Marine Battalion (approximately 1,500 Troop Strength, primary mission is to provide infantry support to Western Fleet) – Qadimah 

 

Naval Aviation[32]

  • Squadron (AS 565SA/SAR/ASW/ASMD) – King Faisal Naval Base (Jeddah)

  • Squadron (AS 532AL/Transport/ASMD) – King Faisal Naval Base (Jeddah)

  



[1] These forces are deploy in the southwest to thwart any potential threat from Yemen (“Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessment – The Gulf States, Army, Saudi Arabia,” Jane’s Information Group, May 8, 2009, available at http://search.janes.com/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/sent/gulfsu/sauds110.htm@current&pageSelected=allJanes&keyword=Royal%20Saudi%20Land%20Forces&backPath=http://search.janes.com/Search&Prod_Name=GULFS&)
 
  
[3] It is estimated that the 4th Brigade troop strength is 13,000 (“Saudi air assaults target Yemen civilian,” Press TV (Iran), November 9, 2009, available at http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=110833&sectionid=351020206) (Unable to verify this information with another source.)
 
 
 
[6] The Royal Guard Regiments are divided into three battalions (“Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessment – The Gulf States, Army, Saudi Arabia,” Jane’s Information Group, May 8, 2009, available at http://search.janes.com/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/sent/gulfsu/sauds110.htm@current&pageSelected=allJanes&keyword=Royal%20Saudi%20Land%20Forces&backPath=http://search.janes.com/Search&Prod_Name=GULFS&)
 
[7] Abdullah Al-Harthiand Naif Masrahi“Forces tighten grip on border, Missing army officer safely,” Saudi Gazette (Saudi Arabia), November 10, 2009, available at http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2009111054139
 
[8] "Sniper kills Saudi soldier a day before his marriage," Saudi Gazette, December 5, 2009, available at http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2009120556138   
 
[9] It is estimated that 1,300 Saudi paratroopers were deployed to Jabal al Dokhan (Saud al-Khalaf, Mohamed Yehia, "Yemeni rebel leader calls on Saudi for ceasefire," Al Arabiya News (Saudi Arabia), November 12, 2009, available at http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/11/12/91055.html)
 
 
[11] AH-64A’s have been deployed to conduct military operations against al Houthi rebels (Abdullah Al-Harthiand Naif Masrahi, “Forces tighten grip on border, Missing army officer returns safely,” Saudi Gazette (Saudi Arabia), November 10, 2009, available at http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2009111054139.)
 
 
[13] Special Forces team have been deployed from the Airborne Brigade located in Riyadh, to conduct search operations in Jebel al Dokhan mountains ("Saudi to continue bombing Yemen rebels," Brisbane Times, November 11, 2009, available at http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-world/saudi-to-continue-bombing-yemen-rebels-20091111-i7wo.html)
 
[14] This military installation will include a naval and air base. No current information as to completion of this military base (“Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessment – The Gulf States, Army, Saudi Arabia,” Jane’s Information Group, May 8, 2009, available at http://search.janes.com/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/sent/gulfsu/sauds110.htm@current&pageSelected=allJanes&keyword=Royal%20Saudi%20Land%20Forces&backPath=http://search.janes.com/Search&Prod_Name=GULFS&)
 
[15] This airbase is responsible for the security bordering Yemen (“Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessment – The Gulf States, Air Force, Saudi Arabia,” Jane’s Information Group, June 18, 2009, available at http://search.janes.com/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/sent/gulfsu/sauds110.htm@current&pageSelected=allJanes&keyword=Royal%20Saudi%20Land%20Forces&backPath=http://search.janes.com/Search&Prod_Name=GULFS&)
 
[16] “Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), Al Quwwat al Jawwiya as Sa’udiya,” Scramble, November 6, 2009, available at http://www.scramble.nl/sa.htm
 
 
 
 
 
 
[22] This airbase is responsible for the security of airspace and ports bordering Syria, Jordan, and Israel (“Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessment – The Gulf States, Air Force, Saudi Arabia,” Jane’s Information Group, June 18, 2009, available at http://search.janes.com/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/sent/gulfsu/sauds110.htm@current&pageSelected=allJanes&keyword=Royal%20Saudi%20Land%20Forces&backPath=http://search.janes.com/Search&Prod_Name=GULFS&)
 
[23] “Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), Al Quwwat al Jawwiya as Sa’udiya,” Scramble, November 6, 2009, available at http://www.scramble.nl/sa.htm
 
[24] Officials have stated that their fleets of F-15 and Tornado fighters from Tabuk Air Base have participated in the air campaign against al Houthi rebel’s positions ("Saudi ships blockade North Yemen after capture of Iran vessel," World Tribune.com, November 12, 2009, available at http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2009/me_saudis0884_11_12.asp)
 
 
 
[27] “Sea Infiltrators Held: Report,” Saudi Gazette, November 15, 2009, available at http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2009111554573  
 
 
[29] "Two warships join fight against infiltrators," Saudi Gazette, December 1, 2009, available at http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2009120255900
 
[30] “Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessment – The Gulf States, Saudi Arabia Navy,” Jane’s Intelligence Group, December 1, 2008, available at http://search.janes.com/Search/documentView.do?docId=/content1/janesdata/sent/gulfsu/sauds130.htm@current&pageSelected=allJanes&keyword=Saudi%20Arabia%20Navy&backPath=http://search.janes.com/Search&Prod_Name=GULFS&. Ships assigned to the blockade is unknown (Salah Nasrawi, "Adviser: Saudi navy blockades north Yemen coast," The Washington Post, November 10, 2009, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/10/AR2009111001999.html.)