Sana’a (GPA) – Yemen’s Missile Force has unveiled a new short-range ballistic missile system called “Badr 1” in retaliation for the ongoing Saudi invasion and airstrike campaign. Its first target? A Saudi Aramco facility in Najran province.
The Badr 1 adds to Yemen’s increased military capabilities as yet another deterrent which will hopefully bring Riyadh to the negotiating table.
Yemen Unveils Badr 1 Missile Defense System
Army spokesman Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman spoke to the press about the exciting new capabilities with Badr 1.
Brigadier Luqman said that economic facilities belonging to members of the coalition are within missile reach and are considered military targets so long as the blockade and aggression against Yemen continues. He said the forces of aggression (Washington, Riyadh, and Dubai) are very aware of Yemen’s increased military deterrents and he expects victories on all fronts soon as a result.
Yemen’s Missile Defense Forces with the Army and Popular Committees carried out a joint operation with the Badr 1 on its maiden launch. Forces used the new system to launch a short-range ballistic missile at the Saudi Aramco facility in Najran province. Yemeni forces have expanded their operations into three Saudi provinces in retaliation for the ongoing airstrike campaign. They now control over 100 miles beyond the Saudi border.
Brigadier Luqman’s assessment about Yemen’s imminent success might not be too far off. Today, U.S. Defense Secretary, James Mattis, spoke to Saudi leaders about the war in Yemen. Mattis urged Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to find a political solution to the war. “We are going to end this war, that is the bottom line. And we are going to end it on positive terms for the people of Yemen but also security for the nations in the peninsula,” Mattis said.
Riyadh’s Goals in Yemen Have Completely Backfired
Mattis’s comments come just one day after the U.S. Senate voted against a resolution that would effectively end Washington’s support for the Saudi coalition’s war against Yemen. The Crown Prince met with U.S. President Donald Trump this week in Washington D.C. to discuss Gulf affairs, the genocidal war against Yemen, and possible reconciliation efforts with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Trump praised Riyadh’s previous arms sales for “creating jobs.” He also said he hopes Saudi Arabia will “give the United States some of that wealth” in the form of more arms deals.
In addition to creating a humanitarian catastrophe, Riyadh’s goals in Yemen have completely backfired. They entered the war to smash Yemen’s revolutionary movement, Ansarullah (aka. “the Houthis”), and maintain their puppet government. In the past three years, Ansarullah have improved their military capabilities and strengthened their grip on political control through widespread public support.
Prior to the war, Yemen was dependent on other countries — like the United States — for foreign military aid. Sana’a’s Defense Ministry has vastly improved and increased domestic arms production in the form of naval missiles, reconnaissance drones, long-range ballistic missiles, long-range high-powered rifles, and now: the Badr 1 defense system.
Where Does Yemen Get Its Weapons?
Late Yemeni President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, received substantial military aid from the United States, North Korea, and other nations over the past few decades. Saleh was a close ally of George Bush during the initial “War on Terror” years. Bush provided Saleh with weapons and assistance to fight al-Qaeda in Yemen. In order to keep the military aid flowing, Saleh fended off the terror group while simultaneously allowing them to grow which led Yemen to the powerful insurgency seen today.
Thanks to years of Saleh stockpiling weapons and ammunition, there is absolutely no shortage of military equipment in Yemen. Therefore, there is no reason Ansarullah could not modify weapons to create long-range missiles and increase defense capabilities without foreign support. Although the United States and Saudi coalition accuse Iran of supplying Ansarullah with weapons, there is no verifiable evidence to back this claim. Beyond the lack of evidence, the Saudi-imposed and U.S.-enforced land, sea, and air blockade would make delivering arms physically impossible.
The war against Yemen entered its fourth year this month. The casualty figure sits over 35,000 between killed and injured. Saudi airstrikes typically target homes, schools, and vital infrastructure. The blockade has triggered a globally unprecedented cholera outbreak and forced 26 million people into either food insecurity or famine.
In addition to providing weapons, ground troops for training, and fuel for planes, Washington also provides intelligence support for selecting and identifying airstrike targets.
Yemen unveils new missile defense system: Badr 1. Video courtesy Wrath of Yemen.
Founder and editor of Geopolitics Alert, Randi is an American geopolitical analyst and content strategist. She covers US imperialism with a special focus on Yemen and Lebanon.