Houthi militias forces supported by local Popular Committees militias brought down a Saudi-led coalition UAV over the western coastal province of al-Hudaydah, Al-Masirah, a TV channel affiliated with the militia group, has reported, citing a military source.
The drone was reportedly shot down in the airspace above the mountainous area in the district of al-Tahita, some 230 km west of the capital of Sana’a, on Wednesday afternoon.
No further details were made available about the incident, and the Saudi-led coalition to has yet to comment on the veracity of the report.
Also Wednesday, a Houthi source said that multiple Saudi-led coalition mercenaries were killed and their munitions destroyed during an offensive against Houthi-held territories in another part of the province.
Houthi commander Maj. Gen. Youssef al-Madani reported ongoing violations of the ceasefire agreement signed in Stockholm in December 2018 by the Houthis and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, citing some 1,285 airspace violations in al-Hudaydah region, including 57 air attacks said to have caused the deaths of some 1,062 local civilians and the wounding of 3,567 others in the past two years. Al-Madani called the Saudi-backed coalition’s repeatedly violations of the ceasefire acts akin to a full-fledged war, and warned that Houthi forces in the region were at a high state of readiness to respond to any attempt to escalate.
Ahmed Hamed, director of the Houthi-led government’s presidential office, called on the international community to alleviate the suffering of the people of al-Hudaydah region and to compel the Saudi-led coalition and its allies to implement its obligations.
Yemen has long been engulfed in an armed conflict between pro-Saudi forces led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi militants, who overthrew Hadi in 2015, forcing him to flee to Saudi Arabia. Riyadh and a coalition of mostly Gulf state allies began a military operation against the Houthis in March 2015 in a bid to restore Hadi to power. The United Nations characterizes the conflict in Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and estimates that some 24 million people – or over 80 percent of the country’s population, are in dire need of assistance.