Brigadier Gen. Yahya Saree, a spokesman for the Houthi forces, said the operation in the Saudi province of Najran was months in the making and involved luring the enemy into what he called the “biggest trap.”
The attack, if verified, would represent one of the largest in Yemen’s bloody, years-long civil war, which has pitted a coalition led by Saudi Arabia in support of the internationally recognized Yemeni government against the Iran-backed Houthi militia.
Saree, who made the claims during a televised address Sunday, said rebels had “liberated” a 350 square kilometer (135 square mile) area while also capturing scores of enemy vehicles and thousands of soldiers who surrendered.
He said the three-day “large-scale” operation was launched on August 25.
“The prisoners include large numbers of commanders, officers and soldiers of the Saudi army,” Saree added.
Around 500 men were killed in the attack, 200 of whom died due to enemy airstrikes, Saree said. Saree also said the rebels launched drone attacks inside Saudi territory, one of which targeted the capital of Riyadh.
CNN has not been able to verify Saree’s claims or video of soldiers surrendering on the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV.
The video showed four individuals who were captured that claimed to be Saudi soldiers. Armored vehicles were also seen driving through narrow mountain roads under fire, with about a dozen destroyed or burnt.
Saudi Arabia has not yet responded to the claims, but the Yemeni Government source confirmed to AFP that some 200 soldiers were killed in the attack.
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