The withdrawal of the anti-Houthi forces from the outskirts of Hodeidah caused great confusion in the media scene and generated mixed reactions, few of them clinging to justification and many declaring their high discontent.
My humble opinion is that the entire military operation was not part of Yemeni strategic and logistical calculations. Rather, it is a military adventure led by a regional party within the coalition, relying on its ability to provide air coverage, support, and air and sea supplies.
An operation like this should be lightning and achieve a heavy goal (such as the port of Hodeidah) and then devote itself to securing this strategic gain by expanding the fortification circle by land, in length and breadth, to secure land supply and establishing pillars that contain hospitals, care centers and administrative platforms along the road, as well as creating a new administration for the area it seized.
All these arrangements were not at the expense of the Yemeni forces involved. Rather, its stability took a long time, and in any case, it was far from the target point, at a high cost, both financially and humanly.
The military operation faltered because of the Stockholm Agreement. The air cover that left the battlefield was revealed following the withdrawal of the UAE from this operational theater.
Since Operation Golden Spear did not take into account the protection of civilians who would come under its control and perhaps (and this is what happened) an important social incubator, the withdrawal also did not take into account this great goal.
The operation was a purely military adventure because the men of the field did not mean much to those who planned and carried out the operation regionally – at the beginning of the operations it was necessary to transfer the wounded from the outskirts of Hodeidah to Aden, and this caused great human losses – and so was the withdrawal.
Rather, the cessation of the military operation led to greater losses, which is the fragmentation of the military units that were formed in Aden and launched from it, and they were running under one administrative roof, and most of them (the Salafist command units) were under the orders of President Hadi, in addition to other southern units that had a sincere desire in their Houthi war.
With time, new forces were formed that reaped the fruits of the battles and did not participate in their formation. The control also devolved to a new faction, and this created internal differences that were permeable to the weakness of the combative doctrine.
Forces that are mobilized militarily and then turn into security or political missions lose their military effectiveness because they operate in a field other than the field of their origin.
An orderly withdrawal is better than staying in a thin line of control that is liable to collapse and be cut off at any moment. But what happened was not tidy enough.
Perhaps the withdrawing forces should now be redistributed to secure the areas under its control, deter Houthi attacks, expand the area of control inward, and move towards a new incubator in Taiz, Ibb and some parts of Wesab and Raymah, forming a coherent geographic rectangle capable of pumping new blood into individuals and securing recruitment.
I’m talking here from a purely strategic angle.