Yemeni forces shoot down Saudi-led reconnaissance drone in Sa’ada

The media bureau of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement announced in a statement that Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shot down the Chinese-built medium-altitude and long-endurance Wing Loong drone with a surface-to-air missile on Friday afternoon.

This picture shows the wreckage of a Saudi-led coalition’s Wing Loong drone after it was shot down by Yemeni forces in Bani Muadh area of the Sahar district in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada on April 19, 2019. (Photo by Yemen’s Operations Command Center)

The statement added that the drone was struck as it was on a surveillance mission over Bani Muadh area in the Sahar district of the province. It was armed with air-to-surface weapons.

This picture shows the wreckage of a Saudi-led coalition’s Wing Loong drone after it was shot down by Yemeni forces in Bani Muadh area of the Sahar district in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada on April 19, 2019. (Photo by Yemen’s Operations Command Center)

Earlier in the day, Yemeni soldiers and fighters from the Popular Committees had targeted a position of Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen’s former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi at Hakoulah base of the southwestern province of Dhale with the domestically designed and manufactured Badr-F ballistic missile. Several Saudi mercenaries were killed and injured in the process.

Speaking at a press conference in the Yemeni capital city of Sana’a on Tuesday, Spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree said the newly unveiled Badr-F ballistic missile is intended to rain shrapnel over a vast area upon explosion in mid-air to ensure maximum lethality against a designated target.

This picture shows the aftermath of a Yemeni Badr-F missile strike against a position of Saudi-led Sudanese forces near Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia on April 16, 2019. (Photo by Yemen’s Operations Command Center)

He noted that missile would have a range of 160 kilometers, which marks a nearly 30-kilometer increase compared to the high-precision Badr P-1 ballistic missile.

Saree went on to say that Badr-F missile would explode 20 meters above the center of the designated target and would scatter some 14,000 pieces of shrapnel in a circular area with a radius of 350 meters.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah movement.

Yemenis visit a cemetery in the capital Sana’a on April 5, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

According to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN said in a report in December 2018 that over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

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