Yemen Boosts Its Defences Against Saudi-Led Aggression

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Domestically-developed Yemeni Qasef -2K (Striker-2K) combat drone

emeni Armed Forces have unveiled new domestically-built military hardware, including ballistic and winged missiles in addition to unmanned aerial vehicles, which they say will act as game-changers in the face of the Saudi-led military aggression against the country.

The media bureau of Yemen’s Operations Command Centre announced that the defence achievements were showcased during an exhibition dubbed Martyr Saleh al-Samad – the late president of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, who was killed in a Saudi airstrike in the western province of Hudaydah in April 2018 – in the Yemeni capital city of Sana’a on Sunday afternoon.

Among the participants in the ceremony were Chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, President of the Supreme Political Council Mahdi al-Mashat, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yahya al-Ra’i, Prime Minister Abdel-Aziz bin Habtour, Deputy Prime Minister for Defence and Security Affairs Major General Jalal Al-Ruwaishan, Defence Minister Major General Mohammad Nasser al-Emati and Chief of General Staff Brigadier General Yahia Saree.

The new pieces of military hardware are as follows: Quds-1 winged missile, the high-altitude Sammad-1 (Invincible-1) reconnaissance drone, long-endurance Sammad-3 (Invincible-3) unmanned aerial vehicle as well as Qasef-2k (Striker-2k) combat drone.

Yemeni air defence units and allied fighters from Popular Committees had earlier made use of Sammad-3 and Qasef-2k drones, but they had not been on display until today.

Yemeni army forces and their allies have launched a string of drone strikes on warplane hangars in Saudi Arabia’s Jizan airport near the Yemeni border.

Mashat said the next phase of engagement with the Saudi-led military alliance against Yemen will be ‘full of surprises’, emphasising that the new weapons will make a profound difference in the balance of power.

Emati, for his part, stated that Yemeni Armed Forces have reached an advanced stage in the field of military industries, highlighting that the newly-unveiled weapons have been successfully tested in several operations and proved their efficacy and accuracy to hit designated targets.

The Yemeni defence minister further warned that the next stage of retaliatory attacks against the Saudi-led forces of aggression will be the greatest and most painful, unless the aggressors broker peace and put an end to their military campaign and siege against the Yemeni people.

‘The detection, tracking and targeting capabilities of the new armaments will turn a new page in the history of the Yemeni military, especially as the advanced weapons have undergone successful experimental stages and proved their effectiveness,’ Saree had already pointed out in a statement released on June 26.

‘Yemeni armed forces are working strenuously to develop their defence capabilities to stop the Saudi-led aggression and lift the blockade of Yemen.

‘This falls within the framework of our legitimate rights to defend ourselves, our country, our people, our religion and our dignity,’ the senior Yemeni official’s statement added.

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 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 organisation, 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.