Yemeni army forces and fighters from allied Popular Committees have intercepted and shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the Royal Saudi Air Force while flying in the skies over Yemen's northern province of Hajjah.
The spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, said in a post published on his Twitter page that Yemeni air defense forces targeted the Chinese-made CH-4 combat drone with a domestically-developed surface-to-air missile in the middle of a hostile spying mission over the Harad district in the early hours of Wednesday.
He added that the aircraft infringed upon the UN-brokered ceasefire, which went into effect last month.
تمكنت دفاعاتنا الجوية بفضل الله من إسقاط طائرة تجسسية مسلحة صينية الصنع CH4 تابعة لسلاح الجو السعودي بصاروخ أرض جو محلي الصنع في الساعات الأولى من صباح اليوم، وذلك أثناء قيامها بخرق الهدنة والقيام بأعمال عدائية في أجواء مديرية حرض بمحافظة حجة.— العميد يحيى سريع (@army21ye) May 4, 2022
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.
Official: Saudi coalition not serious about carrying out ceasefire
Meanwhile, the Director General of Sana'a International Airport, Khaled al-Shayef, says the National Salvation Government has made great strides in order to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni nation, but the Saudi-led coalition is not serious about observing the UN-brokered ceasefire.
Shayef told Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that the operation of two flights per week from Sana’a airport will not help tens of thousands of Yemeni patients in need of life-saving treatment abroad, and the Riyadh-led alliance’s procrastination to allow more flights is threatening their lives.
He went on to say that some 1,400 passengers were expected to arrive and as many could leave Yemen in case Sana’a airport operated commercial flights.
Shayef highlighted that Yemeni expatriates were dreaming of visiting their relatives on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, as some of whom had not seen each other for years because of the Saudi-led war and crippling siege on Yemen.
Earlier, Shayef had stated that the Saudi-led coalition was delaying the reopening of Sana'a airport and was blatantly violating the UN-sponsored truce.
Raed Talib Jabal, the deputy head of the Yemeni civil aviation, also said the Saudi-led coalition did not allow a plane to land at Sana’a International Airport on Sunday.
He described the Saudi-led coalition's move as a violation of the ceasefire brokered by the United Nations.
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 bring back to power the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the 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.