Ansar Allah have overrun the northern flank of the mountain barriers protecting Al-Khobah, the largest Saudi town in this border region.
If Ansar Allah continues offensive operations, they may aim to impose a siege on the town, descending the mountains and accessing the local village road network, bypassing the southern flank and drawing the Saudi border guards out from their entrenched positions.
Al-Khobah, population 7000, is a Shi’ite border town which is no stranger to the Saudi-Yemeni conflict. The Houthis/Ansar Allah occupied it in November 2009. The Saudi border guards retreated and sent warplanes to raid the town. A paratrooper battalion was sent to the front and many of the men went missing and could not be found even despite extensive helicopter searches. The Houthis remained in control of Al-Khobah until 2010. Such is the incompetence of the Saudi military, and compared with 2009-2010 Ansar Allah is multiple times stronger.
The Shi’ite-majority sections of the Saudi Jizan governorate have long been considered “occupied parts of Yemen” by nationalists. Something to consider if Ansar Allah undertakes a broader offensive in region.