YEMENI forces successfully launched a missile attack on the airbase in southwestern Saudi Arabia.
The spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces confirmed that army troops and allied fighters from Popular Committees launched the missile attack on Saudi Arabia’s southwestern region of Asir, in retaliation for a devastating war led by the kingdom against the impoverished country.
Brigadier General Yahya Saree said last Thursday the missile struck with precision the designated targets in King Khalid Air Base, which lies 884 kilometres south of the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Saree said the surface-to-surface ballistic missile used in the operation is of a new generation, which has not been unveiled yet.
The senior Yemeni official warned Saudi Arabia that retaliatory attacks will continue as long as the Riyadh regime continues its military aggression, all-out siege and relentless raids against the war-ravaged Arab country.
Yemeni army forces also intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle of the Saudi military flying over Yemen’s central province of Ma’rib.
Brigadier General Saree said Yemeni air defence forces shot down the CH-4 combat drone with a surface-to-air missile over the Medghal district early on Friday.
The CH-4 drone has a 3,500- to 5,000-kilometre range and a 30- to 40-hour endurance. It is capable of carrying six missiles and a payload of up to 250 to 345 kilograms.
The unmanned aerial vehicle can fire air-to-ground missile from an altitude of 5,000 metres, staying outside the effective range of most anti-aircraft guns.
Yemeni further captured a strategic base in Ma’rib from Saudi-sponsored militants loyal to former pro-Saudi president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen television news network reported that Yemeni troops and their allies took control of the Koufel military base on Thursday.
Military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said scores of Hadi loyalists were killed or wounded.
Heavy fighting has continued between Yemeni forces and Hadi loyalists in Haylan and Makhdarah areas of the Sirwah district over the past few days.
Saudi Arabia launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing Hadi back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement.
According to the UN, 80 per cent of Yemen’s 30 million people need some form of aid or protection. About 13.5 million Yemenis currently face acute food insecurity, UN data shows.
Meanwhile, the Yemeni Petroleum Company (YPC) says the Saudi-led war coalition has ‘pirated’ one of its ships carrying more than five thousand tonnes of gas to Yemen.
The seizure raised the number of ships pirated by Saudi Arabia to 13, YPC spokesman Essam Al-Mutawakel told Yemen’s official Saba Net news agency on Friday.
Al-Mutawakel said the silence of the international community and the United Nations has encouraged Saudi Arabia to continue stealing Yemeni ships and preventing their entry to the strategic port of al-Hudaydah.
Such arbitrary practices are a ‘clear and explicit evidence that the United States is striving to suffocate the Yemeni people and increase their suffering,’ he said.
The spokesman held the forces of the Saudi coalition, which he said ‘are led by the US and the UN,’ fully responsible for the Yemeni people’s suffering, as well as for what will happen in the coming days.
Nearly six years have gone by since Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen with the aim of reinstalling the Riyadh-backed former regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crushing the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the war has so far killed 233,000 people.
Throughout the war, Western countries, especially the US and the UK, have supported the Saudi-led coalition primarily through arms sales and technical assistance.
US President Joe Biden announced early this month that he was ending US support for the Saudi-led war, including some arms sales.
However, the UK still insists that it will not end its support for the deadly war, which persisted through petrifying outbreaks of cholera and hunger bordering on famine.
Senior US lawmakers have called on the UK to live up to its ‘moral responsibility’ and help end both countries ‘complicity’ in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, it was reported Friday.
British officials revealed this week that the UK authorised the export of almost 1.4 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia between July and September.
Senator Ron Wyden, the Democratic chairman of the powerful finance committee and a leading critic of Saudi Arabia, told The Guardian newspaper that he believed the US should not ‘be in the business of selling weapons to governments with a track record of using them to commit atrocities’.
‘American allies like the UK and France should follow suit immediately and stop enabling the Saudi regime,’ he said.
President Joe Biden claimed last week that the US would end support for the Saudi war on Yemen, including relevant arms sales.
Last Monday, the UK insisted it would not follow suit. Tory Foreign Office minister James Cleverly said that Biden’s decision was solely a matter for Washington.
- The European Parliament (EP) on Thursday called on EU member states to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
An independent member of the European Parliament (EP) from Ireland said Saudi Arabia and its allies are continuing their genocide in Yemen without a word of protest from the European Union or the so-called human rights defenders.
Addressing an open session of the EP on Wednesday, Mick Wallace said Saudi Arabia launched its war on the Yemeni people at a time when the Ansarullah movement was trying to get the country out of an economic crisis caused by the former Yemeni government’s subservience to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Wallace said, ‘Foreign powers have been trying to carve up, exploit, and pauperise Yemen and its people’ for years, adding that former Saudi-backed Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, ‘dutifully followed the IMF and World Bank reform programs for two decades until the people of Yemen had enough.’
Saleh stepped down after months of protests and handed power to his deputy, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, as part of a deal backed by the US and Saudi Arabia.
‘Former US President Barack Obama helped install the puppet Hadi, promised change and elections. What Yemen got was more austerity, privatisation and land grabs by foreign investors,’ Wallace said.
During his three years in office, Hadi was constantly under fire from opposition groups for widespread corruption in his administration and also for failing to thwart the rising threat of the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
‘Ansarullah put a stop to the plunder in 2014. They negotiated a deal with Hadi and others, making elections the top priority, but the Saudi-led coalition went to war to stop the prospects of peace, power-sharing and independence in Yemen,’ the EU lawmaker added.
In September 2014, Ansarullah and Hadi’s former regime signed a UN-brokered power sharing agreement. In early 2015, Hadi resigned and later fled to Aden and then to Saudi Arabia. However, he rescinded his resignation one month later.
Then, he fled to Saudi Arabia along with most of his officials and declared Aden as their new capital. However, they have spent most of their time in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
The Ansarullah movement took over state matters after the resignation and escape of Hadi, which had thrown the country into a state of uncertainty and threatened a total security breakdown in Yemen amid rising AQAP insurgency.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies – including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – launched their brutal war against Yemen in March 2015 to eliminate the Ansarullah movement and restore Hadi to power in Yemen.
Wallace noted that the Saudi-led aggressors have killed tens of thousands of Yemenis and committed brutal crimes with Western help.
Mick Wallace said: ‘You say you care about democracy, why don’t you stop the genocide? Stop the plundering of Yemen. And allow elections to take place. Who’d win? Well that’s non of our business, it’s for the people of Yemen to decide that, not the EU, Saudi Arabia or the UAE, not the US … or anyone else. It’s justice they need more than aid.’
According to independent estimates, the Saudi war has claimed more than 120,000 lives.