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Yemen: Saudi spy drone shot down as defectors join Yemeni forces

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 grab, taken from a video released by the media bureau of Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement on February 28, 2022, shows the wreckage of a Saudi US-made ScanEagle reconnaissance drone intercepted and shot down by Yemeni armed forces over Yemen’s northern province of Hajjah.

Yemeni armed forces have shot down a US-built Boeing Insitu ScanEagle spy drone operated by the Saudi-led military coalition as it was flying over the country’s northern province of Hajjah.

The spokesman for the Yemeni armed forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, announced via Twitter that Yemeni air defense units shot down the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as it was carrying out hostile acts over the Harad district on Tuesday morning.

The Boeing Insitu ScanEagle is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude UAV built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, and is used by the Saudi-led coalition for espionage activities.

Saudi-backed militants defect, join Yemeni armed forces

Meanwhile, dozens of Saudi-sponsored militants loyal to the former Saudi-backed regime in Yemen have reportedly defected and joined the Yemeni armed forces in the country’s oil-producing province of Ma’rib, as Yemeni armed forces continue to make decisive gains in their battles against Saudi mercenaries.

The Arabic-language Yemen Press Agency, citing informed sources speaking on condition of anonymity, reported that some 40 officers and conscripts in the 310th Brigade and 114th Brigade of the Saudi-led coalition announced their defection.

The sources confirmed that the defected officers and conscripts left the coalition forces’ camps in the Wadi Ubaida district and headed towards the positions of the Yemeni armed forces in the al-Jubah district.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and several Western states.

The objective was to return to power the former Riyadh-backed regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.

The war has stopped well short of all of its goals, despite killing hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and turning the entire country into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Yemeni forces have continued to grow stronger in the face of the Saudi-led invaders. They have advanced toward strategic areas held by Saudi-led mercenaries, including Ma’rib province, and conducted several rounds of counterstrikes against Saudi Arabia and the UAE in recent months.

Pro-Hadi militant commanders killed

Several high-ranking pro-Hadi militant commanders have been killed after multiple powerful explosions struck their positions in Ma’rib province.

Local sources, who requested not to be named, said one of the blasts targeted the camp of UAE-backed militants – better known by the nom de guerre the Giants – on the borders between Ma’rib and Shabwah provinces.

Another explosion shook the command center of Saudi-backed militants. There were no immediate reports about the extent of damage caused.

Separately, Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported that Saudi jets repeatedly bombarded different sites in Hajjah province on Monday evening.

Fighter jets from the Royal Saudi Air Force launched four airstrikes on the Harad district, as well as a raid on the Hayran district.

Furthermore, the Saudi-led military coalition’s soldiers and mercenaries have breached the Hudaydah truce 151 times in the last 24 hours.

Citing an unnamed source in Yemen’s Liaison and Coordination Officers Operations Room, al-Masirah TV reported that the violations included reconnaissance flights over al-Jabaliyah and Hays districts, 18 counts of artillery bombardment, and 112 shooting incidents.

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