A month of 'scorched earth'

"Operation Scorched Earth" against the Houthi rebels in Yemen has been going on for a month now, with no end in sight. The 
government media continues with its vague reports of military successes and "heavy losses" inflicted on the rebels (the latter may well be true). 

The military are said to be "continuing their advance towards Harf Sufyan–Saada line with the aim securing the road and removing landmines and explosives". This is what the reports have been saying for some time, so if the military are making any progress at all it is clearly very slow.

A further indication that the road is unlikely to be cleared imminently comes from the Yemen Post, which says that Yemen and Saudi Arabia are discussing an alternative option for bringing humanitarian aid to the affected areas – from the north, across the Saudi border.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 13 September 2009.