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Army forces, allies shoot down intruding Saudi-led spy drone in northwestern Yemen

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)
This file picture provided by the media bureau of Yemen’s Operations Command Center shows a Yemeni man searching the wreckage of a Saudi-led CH-4 reconnaissance drone after it was shot down by Yemeni air defense forces and their allies in the skies over Yemen's northern province of al-Jawf. (Photo via Twitter)

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 Yemen's northwestern province of ‘Amran.

The spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, said in a post published on his Twitter page that Yemeni air defense forces shot down the Chinese-made CH-4 combat drone with a surface-to-air missile as it was carrying out hostilities over al-‘Amshiyah area of the Harf Sufyan district in the early hours of Wednesday.

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

The unmanned aerial vehicle can fire air-to-ground missile from altitude of 5,000 meters, therefore it can stay outside of effective range of most anti-aircraft guns.

Back on November 13, Saree said on Twitter that Yemeni air defense units had used a “suitable” domestically-developed surface-to-air missile to shoot down a US-built Boeing Insitu ScanEagle spy drone belonging to the invading alliance as it was carrying out hostile acts over the al-Jubah district in Yemen’s oil-producing province of Ma’rib.

On November 9, Yemeni army forces and their allies shot down a Saudi ScanEagle reconnaissance drone as the aircraft was flying over the same district of Ma’rib province.

‘Saudi-led military campaign has come to a dead end’

Separately, a high-ranking official from the administration of Yemen’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, says the atrocious Saudi-led military campaign to crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement had come to a dead end, and the Riyadh regime and its allies were about to call it off and declare it a failure.

“It is no longer a secret to anyone what has happened in the aftermath of the Houthi revolt, and the point to which the attempt to restore power in Yemen has come. Things are clearer now. The military campaign has reached a dead end and it is expected to be declared a failure,” former Yemeni prime minister and current Speaker of Shura Council, Ahmed Obaid bin Dagher, wrote in a series of posts published on his Twitter page on Tuesday.

He added, “We have in front of us a torn homeland, which is bleeding. A homeland destroyed by war and almost disintegrated into states and societies.”

‘Yemeni forces were confident of Saudi-led coalition defeat’

In response to Dagher's remarks, the spokesman for the Ansarullah movement said Yemeni army troops and Popular Committees fighters were fairly confident from the start that the Riyadh regime and its allies were bound to fail in their military onslaught against Yemen and would obtain none of their objectives.

“Praise be to God! We were quite certain from the onset of the Saudi-led aggression that it was doomed to failure. We informed the Yemeni nation of the fact. We declared that the invasion is not only wicked, but will also make use of proxies to achieve its own goals. We also stated that it would be more in Yemen’s best interests to confront foreign intervention than to encourage it,” Mohammed Abdul-Salam tweeted on Wednesday.

He added, “Years of war proved the rightness of what the Yemeni people went towards. Yemenis will continue to tread the path. It is necessary to stand up against the Saud-led aggression and siege in order to prevent Yemen from being subjugated to foreign powers. We overtly and covertly invited them to hold negotiations. Our offers, however, fell on deaf ears as they insisted on the war.”

Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and other key Western powers, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing the Ansarullah movement.

Having failed to reach its professed goals, the war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases there.

Despite heavily-armed Saudi Arabia’s continuous bombardment of the impoverished country, Yemeni armed forces and the Popular Committees have grown steadily in strength against the Saudi invaders and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

Last week, international weekly magazine The Economist wrote in a report that Saudi Arabia was growing desperate to end its disastrous war on its southern neighbor.

The report said while the Yemen conflict has become a "quagmire" for the Riyadh regime, and cost the kingdom untold billions and damaged its relations with key partners, the Yemeni forces think they are winning the conflict. 

“The Saudis, by contrast, are growing desperate to end the war, if only for self-interested reasons. A conflict sold to the public in 2015 as a quick romp has instead become a quagmire, one that has cost the kingdom untold billions and damaged relations with key partners, particularly America. It has also invited frequent drone and missile attacks by the Houthis. The coalition says it intercepts 90% of attacks (a figure that is hard to verify). Still, a few have hit airports and other vital infrastructure,” the publication said

“The Saudis are eager to cut their losses, but they cannot find a way to do so,” it added.

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