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Yemeni forces launch retaliatory missile attack on airbase in southwestern Saudi Arabia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A file image grab taken from a video handed out by Yemen's popular Ansarullah movement shows military forces launching a ballistic missile. (Photo by AFP)

The spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces says army troops and allied fighters from Popular Committees have launched a retaliatory missile attack on an airbase in Saudi Arabia's southwestern region of Asir.

Brigadier General Yahya Saree said the missile struck with precision the designated targets in King Khalid Air Base, which lies 884 kilometers south of the Saudi capital Riyadh, late Thursday.

Saree said the surface-to-surface ballistic missile used in the operation is of a new generation, which has not been unveiled yet.

The senior Yemeni official warned that retaliatory attacks will continue as long as Riyadh continues its military aggression, all-out siege and relentless raids against the war-ravaged Arab country.

Saudi reconnaissance drone shot down

Yemeni army forces also intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle of the Saudi military flying over Yemen's central province of Ma’rib.

Brigadier General Saree said Yemeni air defense forces shot down the CH-4 combat drone with a surface-to-air missile over the Medghal district early on Friday.

The CH-4 drone has a 3,500- to 5,000-kilometer range and a 30- to 40-hour endurance. It is capable of carrying six missiles and a payload of up to 250 to 345 kilograms.

The unmanned aerial vehicle can fire air-to-ground missiles from an altitude of 5,000 meters, staying outside the effective range of most anti-aircraft guns.

Yemeni forces seize strategic base  

Yemeni further captured a strategic base in Mar'rib from Saudi-sponsored militants loyal to former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen television news network reported that Yemeni troops and their allies took control of the Koufel military base on Thursday.

Military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said scores of Hadi loyalists were killed or wounded.

Heavy fighting has continued between Yemeni forces and Hadi loyalists in Haylan and Makhdarah areas of the Sirwah district over the past few days.

Saudi Arabia launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing Hadi back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement.

According to the UN, 80 percent of Yemen’s 30 million people need some form of aid or protection. About 13.5 million Yemenis currently face acute food insecurity, UN data shows.

The European Parliament (EP) on Thursday called on EU member states to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

In a resolution, European lawmakers welcomed a US decision to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia and defer the transfer of F-35 fighter jets to the UAE. 

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