Thomas Wictor

Deception: the smart kind and the really stupid kind

Deception: the smart kind and the really stupid kind

If the Arab League were enemies of the United States, we’d be sunk. There’s no question. I’m in the process of reverse engineering the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, and I’m amazed at the brilliance of the military deception. It continues to this day.

Fierce fighting and airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition pounded northern Yemen on Saturday, as the two main parties in the country’s conflict continued to violate a ceasefire agreement and undermine already tenuous peace talks in Switzerland.

The clashes in Hajjah Province near the Saudi border between rebel-allied units and pro-government Yemeni forces have killed more than 75 over the past three days, Yemeni security officials and witnesses said. The dead included more than 40 rebels and 35 government troops, with 50 wounded on the rebel side and dozens wounded on the government side. Dozens of tanks and armored vehicles were destroyed, according to the witnesses and security officials, who remain neutral in the conflict that has splintered the Arab world’s poorest country.

The government troops advanced across the border from Saudi territory after training there for months, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to brief reporters.

All information coming out of Houthi-held areas is worthless. If dozens of tanks and armored vehicles were destroyed, they were Houthi, not those of the Saudi-led Coalition or the Yemeni tribal fighters loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. We know this is true because there are no photos or videos of Coalition vehicles blown apart.

Here’s a government-loyal militiaman outside the key city of Taiz.


He just came out of an Oshkosh M-ATV mine resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP) provided by the United Arab Emirates.

Here’s another one outside of Taiz.


They’ve been fitted with slat armor to defeat rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and antitank guided missiles (ATGMs). These are very tough vehicles.

I’ve been following the war in Yemen since March 26, 2015. Not one person—myself included—predicted that the Coalition would attack from the North.


The Arab League has shown almost superhuman powers of military deception (MILDEC). This entire campaign has been full of feints, distractions, disinformation, and unpredictability. Though I knew that the stories of wholesale war crimes and incompetence were lies, I wondered why the Arab League didn’t defend itself forcefully. It’s because Arab commanders have studied Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.

Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

Since the Houthis are trained by Iran, they have no honor. They agreed to a ceasefire that would take place on December 14, 2015, and then they immediately violated it by firing a missile at a Coalition camp, killing Saudi Colonel Abdullah al-Sahyan and Emirati Colonel Sultan al-Ketbi, both of whom were senior Special Forces commanders.


Now, what I’m going to say next isn’t a criticism of Israel. The IDF fights the way it sees fit, probably because Israel is subjected to horrendous double standards. But when Iran-trained Hamas violates ceasefires, the IDF reports it to the media. In contrast, when the Houthis violated the Yemen ceasefire, the Arab League killed senior Houthi leader Mohammed Badreddin al-Houthi and then carried out a surprise invasion from the north.

Deception means letting them lie

While the world press and NGOs were vomiting up their bile about Yemen, the Arab League was quietly preparing to smash Iran and Hezbollah in Syria. This operation began on October 7, 2015, when Russia and Iran launched a series of offensives to retake territory lost to the rebels. It’s clear that thousands of Arab special operators were infiltrated into Syria unnoticed, after Israel killed every top Iranian and Hezbollah commander.

Here’s an example of how they did it. On September 7, 2015, Qatar announced that it would send 1000 troops, 30 Apache helicopter gunships, and 200 armored vehicles to Yemen. Eventually I began reading something that I misinterpreted.


I thought that the Qataris had gone to Saudi Arabia in preparation for a war against Iran.

No. They went to Syria and helped defeat Iran there. Textbook deception that fooled all of us.

One thing that separates me from journalists is that I don’t pull pronouncements out of my parumpa-pum-pum.

Yemen is turning into Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam

BEIRUT — Eight months after launching a war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia appears trapped in a protracted and devastating conflict that is straining relations with its allies, intensifying internal power struggles and emboldening its regional rival, Iran, analysts say.

Since March, the key U.S. ally has led a coalition of mostly Gulf Arab countries and Yemeni fighters in a military campaign to drive out Iranian-aligned rebels who seized the capital, Sanaa, and swaths of the Arabian Peninsula country.

But the coalition appears increasingly hobbled by divisions and unable to find a face-saving way to end the costly conflict.

“This war is draining the Saudis militarily, politically, strategically,” said Farea al-Muslimi, a Yemen analyst at the Beirut-based Carnegie Middle East Center. “The problem is, they’re stuck there.”

Yay! The V-word!


Who the hell is writer Huge Nailer? No idea. But he’s as wrong as wrong could be. The Coalition has been playing the media like a Stradivarius. Here’s what the Arab League told Reuters in September.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia began air strikes against the Houthis and their allies in late March after they pushed from their northern stronghold towards the southern port of Aden.

But the bulk of the 5,000-strong coalition ground forces are provided by the United Arab Emirates. UAE General Ali Seif al-Kaabi told reporters his country had 4,000 men in Yemen, and denied reports that Qatar and Egypt had forces on the ground.

Kaabi said the coalition “is making two lines to Sanaa”, its ultimate target after retaking Aden from the Houthis in July.

One line of advance was from Aden and the southwestern city of Taiz, while the other one would run from Marib to the northern province of Jawf and then to Sanaa.

Note the locations of Aden, Taiz, Marib, and Sanaa.


So Kaabi said that the Coalition would advance on the Houthi stronghold of Sanaa from the south and the east. Where, in fact, did they come from?


The north!

And what about there being 5000 Coalition ground troops, 4000 of whom are Emirati?

Brigadier Nasser Mushabab Al Otaibi, the Emirati officer leading the combined land force, said around 4,000 troops from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sudan were now in Yemen, in the first major Gulf Arab-led intervention. He declined to say how many were from the UAE.

Poor old Huge Nailer of the Washington Post was HAD. By Arabs. I’ll bet he never thought it could happen.

Really stupid deception

I don’t feel sorry for the Yemeni Houthis. They’re racists, Nazi sympathizers, Jew-haters, hypocrites, drug addicts, and homicidal maniacs. All of their propaganda is a cargo-cult version of deception. Here’s the latest, a “Saudi ballistic missile” that they “shot down.”



No. It’s a Saudi Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missile.


See how the fins match? The Saudis intercepted and destroyed a Houthi SCUD missile, and then the Houthis loped out on all fours, collected the PAC-3 parts, and posed for photos, saying, “Hurrah! We win! Because we like lunch!”

The Houthi Air Force prepares for a mission.


Currently there are thousands of Saudi, Egyptian, Jordanian, Bahraini, Senegalese, Mauritanian, Eritrean, Malaysian, Pakistani, and Turkish special operators whose whereabouts are not known. And the US has stationed thousands of American troops in Kuwait. One of my nephews is there, as a member of an Army aviation unit. Do you know why we sent so many soldiers to Kuwait?

So that the Kuwaitis could go fight in Syria.

Here are typical Islamist rebels in Syria. The first guy holds his AK-47 sideways, an excellent method of ensuring that the rifle jams.


Next we have someone firing a light machine gun.


It LOOKS like a light, doesn’t it? A spotlight. He may as well be wearing a giant neon sign that says, “HERE I AM, SNIPERS!”

Finally, we have a guy in a tank sticking out just his hands to fire his rifle blindly at his own men, who are behind the brick building on the left.


Until October 7, 2015, not a single ground combatant in Syria knew what he was doing. That’s why the war has gone on for four years. Now, Arab and probably African professionals have arrived and are rolling up the Iranians, Hezbollah, the Islamic State, and the al-Nusra Front.

Who knows what’s really going on? In August, No. 2 Squadron (Winged Arrows) of the Indian Air Force made its first visit to Saudi Arabia.

The contingent consisting of 110 IAF officers and airmen onboard Sukhoi 30MKI fighter aircraft, C-17 Globe Masters, C-130 Super Hercules and IL-78 aircraft while en route to United Kingdom for a multinational exercise landed at King Fahd airbase in Taif.

The inaugural staging visit that the IAF pilots called very interactive and fruitful. They will be leaving for Athens prior to the UK for the multinational exercise.

They landed in Saudi Arabia on August 1, just to say hello before heading to Greece and then the UK for Exercise Indradhanush IV.

Well, there’s a problem.

Exercise Indradhanush IV (Hindi: Rainbow) concluded on July 30 following intensive flying operations with RAF Typhoon squadrons from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.

The Indians landed in Saudi Arabia before attending an exercise that had already ended. Guess what No. 2 Squadron (Winged Arrows) of the Indian Air Force does? Close air support. They drop bombs and fire missiles and cannons to cover the advance of ground troops. The motto of No. 2 Squadron is “Unwavering Aim.”


Indian Air Force special operators, basically.

After Indradhanush IV ended, the Indian Air Force and the Royal Air Force got into a public and embarrassing squabble over who won. Therefore nobody noticed that Indian aircraft dedicated to close air support went to Saudi Arabia.

I’m sure that the Indian visit doesn’t mean anything.

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