Yemeni defense forces have claimed the massive retaliatory strike, featuring a ballistic missile and as many as nine drones, against “sensitive” spots in the Saudi capital amid an ongoing Riyadh-led war on the impoverished nation.
Speaking at a news conference on Sunday, Armed Forces’ spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree said the counterattack had begun on Saturday and lasted until early Sunday under the codename “the 5th Operation of Balanced Deterrence,” Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported.
He identified the projectile as a Zolfaghar-type ballistic missile, and the drones as Sammad-3-type UAVs.
“The retaliatory attack targeted sensitive sites in the enemy's capital Riyadh,” the network cited the spokesman as saying.
As part of the retaliation, six more unmanned aircraft of the Qassef K2 make also targeted the Abha International Airport and the Khamis Mushait area in the southwestern Saudi Asir region. “The drones struck their targets with accuracy,” he added.
Saree urged Saudi citizens to stay away from all of the kingdom’s military sites, facilities, and airfields amid the retaliatory strikes.
His remarks came after Twitter users reported hearing an explosion in the Saudi capital. Some also circulated a video showing activation of Saudi Arabia’s US-made Patriot missile systems.
The counteroffensive was followed by the kingdom’s closing its airspace to all flights and shutting down all of its airports in Riyadh and the port city of Jeddah.
Yemeni Armed Forces have never ceased their defensive activities throughout the entire course of the war that the kingdom and its allies launched in 2015 to return power to Yemen’s former pro-Riyadh government.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis have died and the whole Yemen has turned into what the United Nations describes as the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Under the pretext of helping out Saudi Arabia -- Washington’s most treasured regional ally after the Israeli regime -- former US president Donald Trump poured out advanced and precision arms and munition into the kingdom that Riyadh would, in turn, rain down on Yemen without any qualms.
The support included a $110-billion arms deal with Riyadh, where Trump travelled in his maiden foreign trip at the height of the war. Washington would also lend ample logistical support, including bombing coordinates, and political patronage for the kingdom’s aggression against the impoverished country.
Saudi-led infanticide follows Yemen reprisal
Following the Yemeni forces’ reprisal, the Saudi-led coalition carried out a drone attack against a residence in the western Yemeni port city of al-Hudaydah, killing five members of the same family, including a child.
The attack that also wounded some others marked another violation by the coalition of a United Nations-mediated truce that is supposed to govern the city.
The coalition has been exercising a siege on the city, which is Yemen’s lifeline port, since the beginning of the war.
Saree said, “Yemen's retaliatory attacks will continue and expand as long as the US-Saudi aggression and siege on our country continue.”