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Yemeni armed forces hold drills on eighth anniversary of Saudi-led war

Yemeni armed forces carry out drills. (Photo by al-Ahed News)

The Yemeni Armed Forces have staged drills marking nine years of a Saudi-US war on the country, with Yemen’s defense ministry warning the coalition of severe repercussions if the aggression continues.

The military maneuver dubbed "Withstanding the Aggression" simulated an attack on a group of targets in a variety of terrains, including mountainous, desert-like and forested areas.  

All military units of the infantry forces, units graduated from military courses, and combat support forces of various specializations including engineering, air defense, missile force and combat support services participated in the maneuver.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense and the Yemeni Chiefs of Staff warned that Yemen’s response to new attacks would be surprising, telling the Saudi-led coalition to take the warning seriously.

"The sovereignty of our homeland and our wealth is a legitimate right that cannot be bargained upon, and we will sacrifice everything in order to defend it," Yemeni Minister of Defense Major General Muhammad Nasser al-Atifi and Chief of the Yemeni General Staff Major General Muhammad Abdul-Karim al-Ghamari said in a joint statement. 

They issued the statement on the advent of Ramadan, calling for "the month of goodness to be the beginning to prove the good will of all those who claim to be peace advocates."

"Our people will not accept the presence of a foreign occupier in any part of its geography, on land or at sea," the statement said. "The coalition of aggression and its sponsors must take our warnings seriously."

The drill and the warning come as the Saudi-led coalition continues attacks on Yemeni civilians, including women and children.

The war has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands in Yemen. On Wednesday, the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights and the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood announced that nearly 1.5 million civilians have died indirectly as a result of the use of prohibited weapons, the spread of diseases, and the siege imposed on Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition.

“The aggression and siege for eight years caused the poverty rate to rise to 95 percent and the unemployment rate to more than 65 percent,” it said.

The blockade has exacerbated the suffering and caused severe food insecurity for more than 16 million people, it added.

Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood Akhlaq al-Shami censured the inaction of the international community.

“International organizations have mentioned more than once the tragic humanitarian situation in Yemen, but that did not move a finger and did not push them to carry out their responsibilities,” he said. 

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 with armed and logistical support from their Western partners, leaving hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead.

The war has also displaced millions of people, rendering them homeless, destroying the country’s infrastructure and spawning the contemporary age’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.

The most recent truce, which began in April 2022, had rekindled hopes of peace, but the Saudi-led coalition breached the terms of the ceasefire agreement.

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