The following combat footage compilation was filmed in Yemen this month. It shows troops of the Saudi coalition using a .50 BMG rifle against Houthi militants with devastating effects. Coincidentally, we recently posted combat footage of Houthi snipers firing a 12.7x108mm rifle against a Saudi soldier, causing him to catch fire in the process, which you can see here.
You may be wondering how a .50 BMG ended up in Yemen. Weapons such as the Barrett Model 82A1 (M82A1) anti-materiel rifle have been a feature of the conflict since 2015. They were initially deployed by the Saudi-led coalition forces of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia itself. Before long, they began falling into the hands of Houthi forces.
The Iranian AM50 anti-materiel rifle has also increasingly become a feature of the War in Yemen. A more in-depth insight into these weapons and how they’ve appeared in the region before changing hands can be found at Armament Research.
The War in Yemen
The combat footage of the .50 BMG being used against Houthi militants took place in the current Yemeni Civil War which erupted back in 2015. It’s a conflict that is largely fought between two factions: the Yemeni government led by the Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi armed movement, alongside their supporters and allies. Both sides claim to constitute the official Yemeni government.
The war has significantly destabilized Yemen and introduced various terror groups to the region in the form of Al-Qaeda and ISIS who have carried out a series of attacks since the war began. Al-Qaeda in particular controls significant territory across Yemen especially along with the coastal areas.
Saudi Arabia is heavily involved in the conflict and actively opposes the Houthi movement. They have controversially launched devastating air strikes upon Yemen throughout the conflict. The Saudi campaign is backed by the United States who has been providing the Saudi military with intelligence and logistical support. The United States and the United Kingdom have also both been active in supplying Saudi Arabia with the weapons used in the devastating airstrikes. Various analysts view the war in Yemen as an extension of the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. It’s accepted that the war is largely a means for Saudi Arabia to combat Iranian influence in the region.
The Saudi Arabian bombing campaign on Yemen has resulted in widespread civilian casualties and has subsequently been slammed by various governments around the world. The Yemen Data Project estimates that, as of March 2019, almost 18,000 civilians had been killed or injured in Saudi Arabian airstrikes. Overall, the war in Yemen is believed to have killed over 100,000 people. Alarmingly, Yemen is also currently in the grip of starvation that threatens to become the worst global famine seen in the last 100 years and poses a threat to 13 million civilians.