A Yemeni Armed Forces official has confirmed the use of a domestically-made combat drone in their air raid against Saudi-backed militiamen.
Yemeni army troopers and allied fighters from Popular Committees made use of the new drones in their battle against Saudi-led forces loyal to former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi at an air base in the country’s southwestern province of Lahij, Brigadier General Yahya Saree said on Thursday.
Yemeni soldiers and their allies attacked Saudi mercenaries at al-Anad Air Base with a Qasef K2 (Striker K2) drone, he said during a press conference in the capital, Sana’a.
He added that the new drone could strike its designated targets from 20 meters away, and that it could carry a large payload of explosive materials.
Saree further noted that dozens of high-ranking Saudi-paid militiamen were killed or injured in the aerial attack, noting that the injured mercenaries were transported by helicopter to Aden German International Hospital in the port city of Aden.
He pointed out that Saudi mercenaries were now in a state of panic and terror as a result of the high-precision military operation, stressing that their commanders would no longer be able to escape unscathed if they continued to serve the aggressors.
Meanwhile, at least nine Saudi-backed militiamen have been killed when Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from Popular Committees launched separate attacks in Saudi Arabia’s southern border region of Jizan as well as the northern Yemeni province of al-Jawf.
Also on Thursday, Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from Popular Committees carried out offensives against the positions of Saudi mercenaries in the Tabishia’a area of Yemen’s southern coastal province of Ta’izz, killing and injuring scores of the Saudi-paid militiamen in the process.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
A number of Western countries, the US and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.