Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have intercepted and targeted three unmanned aerial vehicles belonging to the Saudi-led military coalition, as they were flying in the skies over the country’s western coastal province of Hudaydah and the kingdom’s southwestern border region of Najran.
Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, citing an unnamed Yemeni military source, reported that Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shot down two drones on Monday afternoon, as they were on reconnaissance mission over Kilo 16 district in Hudaydah.
Earlier in the day, Yemeni troops and fighters from Popular Committees brought down an unmanned aerial vehicle as it was flying over the Boqa’ desert area of Najran, located 844 kilometers south of the Saudi capital Riyadh.
The developments came only a day after Yemeni forces and their allies intercepted and targeted a drone in the skies over the same Saudi region.
A Yemeni military official, requesting not to be named, said the drone was struck as it was on a mission over Wadi Al Abu Jabbareh area in Najran.
Last week, the media bureau of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement announced in a statement that Yemeni air defense forces and their allies had shot down a Chinese-built medium-altitude and long-endurance Wing Loong drone with a surface-to-air missile.
The statement issued on April 19 added that the drone was struck as it was on a surveillance mission over Bani Muadh area in the Sahar district of Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada. It was armed with air-to-surface weapons.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015 with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
According to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN said in a report in December 2018 that over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.