Yemeni Air Defenses Down US-made MQ-9 Reaper Drone over Western Coast
By Staff, Agencies
The Yemeni resistance successfully targeted a US-made attack drone belonging to Saudi Arabia, as the country continues to develop its deterrence against Riyadh's nonstop drone raids and spy flights over Yemeni cities and civilian targets.
In further details, the Yemeni Army and Popular Committees downed the MQ-9 Reaper on Thursday afternoon in al-Jabaliyah in the country's western coast.
The Saudi air force launched a series of airstrikes on the wreckage of the drone to destroy it before it fell to the hands of the Yemeni fighters, a military source told Yemeni al-Masirah network.
Yemeni forces seem to have developed a sophisticated air defense network to fight off Riyadh's drone attacks.
The downed General Atomics product is designed to resemble the last-month downed MQ-9 Predator, but is of a much bigger volume to be also used as a rocket launcher during fights.
The unmanned vehicle’s cost hits $11.5 million, with the cost of its tactical unit [composed of the drone, control room, rockets and other equipment] fixed at $30 million.
The Yemeni resistance uses surface-to-air missiles in such operations.
Relatively, the media bureau of Yemen’s Ansarullah movement announced in April that Yemeni air defense forces and their allies had shot down a Chinese-built medium-altitude and long-endurance Wing Loong drone with a surface-to-air missile.
Yemen's air defenses also downed three more Saudi spy drones of unspecified models in various parts of the country.
In late March, Yemeni soldiers and fighters from Popular Committees intercepted and shot down another MQ-1 drone in the Hamdan district of Sana’a province.
The development came as Yemeni fighters have achieved great strides in developing domestic attack drones and using them to orchestrate devastating retaliatory attacks on oil facilities and other vital Saudi targets.
Last month, the Ansarullah revolutionary movement announced that about 300 critical targets in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates [UAE] as well as in Yemen were in its crosshairs.
The warning came after the Yemeni army launched retaliatory drone attacks on a major oil pumping station deep inside Saudi Arabia, forcing state crude giant Aramco to temporarily shut down the pipeline.
The ability to shoot down enemy drones and conduct drone offensives is the latest game-changing development in a years-long war by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies -- mainly the UAE.
They had already stirred fear in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi by developing a formidable arsenal of ballistic missiles and conducting regular missile attacks against strategic targets in aggressor countries such as the Riyadh international airport.
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the brutal war on Yemen in March 2015, claiming the lives of tens of thousands of civilians. Additionally, millions of Yemenis now subsist beneath the poverty line and hundreds of thousands of children are suffering and dying from malnutrition.
The Western-backed military aggression, coupled with a naval blockade, has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and led to a massive humanitarian crisis.