While the quagmire of Yemen war goes deeper and more complicated every day for the Saudis, once again Saudi Arabia came under a new wave of missile and drone strikes launched by the Yemeni army and the popular forces.
General Yahya Saree, the spokesman to the Yemeni armed forces, in a statement released on Monday, gave details of the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities and military positions inside the Arab kingdom.
Details and goals of the new operation against Saudi Arabia
According to Al-Masira news network, the spokesman to the Yemeni forces in comments on the goals of the new attacks deep into Saudi Arabia said that the Yemeni forces in a massive operation targeted a number of Saudi military bases and vital facilities in Jizan, Najran, and Asir south of the kingdom.
In the operation, in which ballistic missiles and combat drones were used, the hangars of the fighter jets and also Patriot air defense systems in Khamis Mushait, Abha, Jizan, and Najran were targeted. The attacks took over seven hours to carry out and led to the destruction of a number of fighter jets and killed a number of Saudi officers serving in the facilities, Saree stated.
Also, big oil facilities in the Jizan industrial region were destroyed. “The strikes were launched in retaliation to the enemy’s crimes the latest of which were in Hajjah province, as well as the ongoing blockade on the anniversary of Tanomah massacre,” he continued, referring to killing of Yemeni Hajj pilgrims by Saudi forces under British direction about a century ago in the Saudi town of Tanomah.
The spokesman added that the Yemenis also attacked Tadwin military base in Marib while a meeting was underway between Saudi commanders and loyalists to the resigned President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. He said that during the strikes on the meeting place “dozens were killed and injured.”
The Yemeni army and popular committees launched several rounds of attacks in “deterrence” against aims inside Saudi Arabia since September last year when they conducted major attacks on the Saudi oil giant Aramco facilities, leaving the Saudis in a great shock. The attack on Aramco was the largest one and reduced to the half the Saudi oil production as it inflicted huge damage on the oil-processing capabilities of the company in Abqaiq and Khurais facilities east of the country. The attacks, coming in response to the unceasing Saudi air raids on the civilians and infrastructure in Yemen, have played a key role in tipping the scales of war in favor of Sana’a.
Now as the statement by the Yemeni official suggests, the main aim of the new wave of anti-Saudi attacks is retaliating the Saudi strikes over the past few days and also forcing Riyadh to lift the inhumane five-year blockade on Yemen.
On Sunday, Yahya al-Hakem, the intelligence chief of the Sana’a-based government warned the Saudis of new attacks on their oil industry if their air operations continued. “Our hands reach all of your oil and economic facilities and we are capable of fully destroying them. Our hands can launch reciprocal or even more severe attacks,” he was quoted as saying.
Major General Abdullah bin Amer, a senior official in Yemen’s defense ministry, in an interview with Al-Misra said that the time of limited operations has gone and that the Yemeni armed forces now carry out their operations in the depth of Saudi Arabia. “While we in the past fired only one missile in each operation against Saudi Arabia, now we can fire several missiles and fly several drones simultaneously,” he further told the Yemeni network.
He added that the strategic aim of the Yemeni armed forces behind the attacks was to stop the Saudi campaign, end the siege, and continue reciprocal operations. “Yemen has produced a new generation of missiles and will be unveiled at the proper time,” bin Amer told Al-Misra.
Saudi Arabia admits Yemeni attacks
Saudi Arabia, usually censoring the casualties and tolls of the Yemeni attacks on its territories, now had to admit the Ansarullah Movement’s military capability to target military infrastructure inside the kingdom. The Saudi official press agency reported about the Yemeni strikes in an apparent admission of the Ansarullah military power. “The attacks were carried out using ballistic missiles and drones,” the news agency said citing the spokesman to the Saudi-led coalition Turki al-Maleki.
The spokesman to the coalition, however, claimed that the alliance managed to intercept two missiles fired by Ansarullah. He also claimed that the coalition detected and destroyed six “explosive” drones that were flown from Sana’a.
New military surprise coming to Saudis
A record of Ansarullah operations shows that the Yemenis usually use their new capabilities in attacks after making them operational and then unveil them in the media.
In the Sunday operation, the top Yemeni officials said that they used a new type of ballistic missiles. Earlier, General Jalal al-Ruwaishan, the defense and security aide to the Sana’a-based prime minister, asserted that the revolutionary government will continue to improve the range and capabilities of the missiles and drones. Warning the Saudi of more attacks, he said: “the range of our missiles and drones has improved in a way that will surprise the enemy.”
The advances in missile and drone industries of Ansarullah over the past two years have been fascinating. Posing a serious challenge to the Saudi security, these advances have confused Saudi Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman. Even use of state-of-the-art air defense systems supplied to the monarchy by the Western allies for billions of dollars has not been successful in deterring the game-changing operations by the Yemeni forces.
A look at parts of Yemen’s increased missile and drone power shows that the Yemenis about three years ago started production of advanced missiles and drones, something giving them the upper hand in the confrontation of heavily-armed Saudi aggression.
In the Operation Balance of Deterrence 4 which was launched on June 24, Yemeni forces used “Quds” and “Zulfiqar” ballistic missiles that were developed in blockade conditions.
In an infographic video, Al-Masira unveiled the features of winged new cruise missiles developed by Yemen, saying that they can fly in low altitudes, range 2,500 kilometers, and strike at an error margin of 1.5 meters. The missile uses a highly accurate guidance and positioning system and can deliver a warhead of 450 kilograms. Just unlike the ballistic missiles, cruise missiles are hard to destroy because they can be hardly detected and essentially mislead the air defense systems.
Quds 1 missile that was unveiled a couple of months ago in an unveiling ceremony managed by Ansarullah in the capital Sana’a is from cruise family. The missile increases the range of the reach of the Yemeni forces in the anti-Saudi operations. This means that more insecurity and military surprises await the aggression countries, especially that the missile strikes will be of high accuracy.
With the new progress in the range and quality of the Yemeni missiles and drones, we should wait and see what new weapons were used against the invaders in the weekend attack and what new surprises are awaiting bin Salman’s already-shattering dreams in Yemen.