Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from the Popular Committees, have intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the Saudi-led military coalition as it was flying in the skies over the country’s northwestern province of Hajjah.
An unnamed source in the Yemeni air defense forces told the Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that Yemeni forces and their allies shot down the drone while on a reconnaissance mission west of Jabal Mab'ousah in al-Mazraq area of the Harad district on Friday afternoon.
The media bureau of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, citing the spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree, announced in a statement on Wednesday that Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shot down a US-built General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (sometimes called Predator B) drone with a precision missile.
The statement added that the aircraft was struck as it was on a surveillance mission, noting that the domestically-developed missile which brought down the drone will be showcased during a press briefing in the near future.
Also on Friday, Saudi fighter jets bombarded an area in the Haydan district of the northern Yemeni province of Sa’ada. There were no immediate reports about possible casualties and the extent of damage caused.
Earlier in the day, Saudi warplanes had launched four airstrikes against a residential area in the Harf Sufyan district of Yemen's northwestern province of ‘Amran. No reports of fatalities were immediately available though.
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 Ansarullah.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that 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 says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.
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