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Top militant cmdr. killed as Yemeni forces launch missile strike on Saudi-led forces in Shabwah

Top United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed militant commander Majdi al-Radfani (R) (Photo via Twitter)

A high-ranking militant commander loyal to former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi has been killed when Yemeni army troops and fighters from Popular Committees launched a ballistic missile against a position of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) mercenaries in Yemen’s southern province of Shabwah.

Informed sources, requesting anonymity, told Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeeen television news network that Commander of the so-called Third Brigade – better known by the nom de guerre the Giants – Majdi al-Radfani died of his injuries on Saturday, after Yemeni army troops and their allies targeted UAE-sponsored militants in the Bayhan district.

The sources added that more than 130 militants have been killed during battles with Yemeni Armed Forces over the past few days, and dozens of others have been wounded. A number of their military vehicles have been destroyed as well.

Earlier this week, a Yemeni military source reported the killing of the Commander of the so-called Second Brigade, Samih Jarada al-Subaihi, in an operation by Yemeni army snipers and Popular Committees fighters in the Usaylan district.

Subaihi was said to be one of the most prominent militant commanders in Shabwah province, and his death represents a very big loss for the Abu Dhabi regime in the oil-rich region.

The developments come as the spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces announced on January 3 that the country’s naval troops, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, had managed to seize a UAE-flagged vessel off the port of Hudaydah as it was carrying military equipment and engaging in hostile acts.

Brigadier General Yahya Saree stated that the Yemeni forces and their allies captured the vessel after it trespassed into Yemen’s territorial waters and was acting against the security and stability of the country.

The senior Yemeni military official added that the ship was loaded with various munitions and was seized off the coast of Yemen’s strategic western province of Hudaydah.

Last Wednesday, Yemeni armed forces shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the United Arab Emirates Air Force as it was flying over Yemen's Shabwah province.

They hit the Chinese-built long-endurance Wing Loong 2 drone with a surface-to-air missile.

Saree said the drone was targeted while carrying out hostile acts over the Usaylan district of the province.

4 civilians killed in shelling by Saudi mercenaries in Yemen’s Ta’izz

Meanwhile, at least four civilians have been killed and two others injured in an artillery shelling by Saudi mercenaries at a residential area in the southern coastal province of Ta’izz.

Local sources, who asked to remain anonymous, told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that the projectile struck Wadi Rasian area in the Maqbanah district of the province on Saturday.

The sources added that the fatalities included two girls and two women.

Saudi warplanes launch airstrikes against residential areas across Yemen

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has carried out a new round of airstrikes against various areas across Yemen.

Yemen’s al-Masirah television network said Saudi fighter jets launched 48 airstrikes against different areas in Yemen’s Shabwah Province.

The aerial assaults hit Bayhan, Ain and Harib districts. There were no immediate reports of casualties or extent of damage.

Saudi aircraft also bombarded al-Balaq area in the Wadi Ubaidah district of Yemen’s oil-producing central province of Ma’rib, located some 175 kilometers (109 miles) east of the capital, Sana’a, on 14 occasions, though no reports about possible casualties were quickly available.

Five other aerial assaults targeted Sirwah and al-Jubah districts in the same Yemeni province.

Saudi warplanes also launched six airstrikes against an area in the Abs district of Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah.

Saudi military aircraft conducted four air raids against the At Tuhayat district in the western province of Hudaydah as well. There were no immediate reports about possible casualties.

Saudi Arabia, backed by the United States and regional allies, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah resistance movement.

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 incessant bombardment of the impoverished country, the Yemeni armed forces and the Popular Committees have grown steadily in strength against the Saudi-led invaders and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

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