Yemeni forces shoot down 3rd Saudi-led spy drone as retaliatory attacks rise
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Yemeni forces shoot down 3rd Saudi-led spy drone as retaliatory attacks rise

Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shot down the drone as it was flying in the skies over al-Sadis area of the region, located 844 kilometers (524 miles) south of the Saudi capital Riyadh, on Sunday. The development came a day after Yemeni air defense forces and their allies downed a drone as it was on a reconnaissance mission over al-Mazraq area in the Harad district of Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah, located approximately 130 kilometers northwest of the capital Sana’a. On Friday, Yemeni army forces and Popular Committees fighters shot down a spy drone of the Saudi-led military coalition in the skies over Yemen’s strategic western coastal province of Hudaydah. The unmanned aerial vehicle was struck with a surface-to-air missile over al-Fazah area in the al-Tuhayta district. The spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree said, said on June 19 that Yemeni army forces, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, had launched a string of airstrikes against unmanned aerial vehicles and military targets at Jizan Airport in Saudi Arabia, using a squadron of domestically-manufactured Qasef-2K (Striker-2K) combat drones. Saree further noted that the attacks led to the suspension of flights at the airport. “We have sophisticated military hardware that US-built and other air defense systems deployed in Saudi Arabia cannot intercept. Our ballistic missiles, rockets and drone can hit any target all across Saudi Arabia. Our strikes will not be limited to Asir, Najran and Jizan. The Saudi enemy must know that we will d expand the scope of deterrence in case the military aggression continues,” the top Yemeni military official pointed out. Also on Sunday, Saudi fighter jets launched an airstrike against Al Ali area in the Razih district of Yemen’s mountainous northwestern province of Sa’ada. There were no immediate reports of possible casualties and the extent of damage caused. Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement. The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that 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 says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

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