Sana’a (GPA) – Finally, some good news to report out of Yemen. Yemen’s resistance forces have vastly improved their air defense capabilities.
Yemeni Forces Shoot Down Two Enemy Jets in One Day
On Sunday, Yemen’s military media announced that Air Defense along with the Army and Popular Committees had shot down a Tornado fighter jet. This defensive operation took place in Saada province where Riyadh frequently targets homes murdering dozens of civilians in each attack.
(Just today, terrorist airstrikes struck a poultry farm in Saada injuring two children. Warplanes also targeted a port in Hodeidah killing five fishermen as well as a mosque and home in Sana’a’s Nehm district.)
The Tornado jet — manufactured in the United Kingdom — belonged to the Saudi Royal Air Force. Riyadh acknowledged the downed aircraft but, as per usual, claimed a technical malfunction caused the crash.
Just hours later, Yemen’s Army and Popular Committees announced they had shot down another warplane — this time an F15 fighter jet — over Sana’a.
The Yemeni forces used surface-to-air missiles in both operations. Other than that, not much more information is available at this point. Yemeni officials seem enthusiastic about the improved defense capabilities but have not divulged any details concerning the type of missile.
Major-General Pilot Ibrahim Al-Shami spoke exclusively to Yemen Press. He said all jets entering Yemen’s airspace are fair game. Defense forces will not have time to identify planes so they need to assume all aircraft belongs to forces of aggression. This is important for keeping civilians safe.
Since the Saudi coalition initiated a land, air, and sea blockade, it’s safe to assume all jets entering Yemen’s airspace are there to drop bombs.
Sana’a’s Improved Defensive Capabilities
Yemen’s Sana’a-based military has drastically improved their defense capabilities since the beginning of the war in March of 2015. Last year, Yemen’s Ministry of Defense revealed domestically produced long-range missiles. Forces have since used these missiles to launch attacks in Riyadh and the United Arab Emirates in response to the ongoing air strikes and occupation.
Over the summer, the Ministry of Defense released images depicting a stunning line of long and mid-range Yemeni-made sniper rifles.
These improvements are part of Yemen’s strategy to defend their nation from invading forces and terror attacks from Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia rang in the New Year last week by massacring over 40 civilians in a series of raids targeting a busy market and gas station in Hodeidah. Additional strikes attacked rescue workers entering the scene (common practice for the Saudi coalition). The week before that, nearly 200 people were killed and injured in a series of attacks in various provinces.
How Saudi Arabia and the United States Created the World’s Worst Humanitarian Disaster
Far from being a mere ally, the United States has troops stationed in Yemen assisting Saudi and Emirati-backed forces. The US also provides intelligence support to Riyadh for locating airstrike targets. This means that Washington is directly complicit in carrying out war crimes against civilians in Yemen.
Saudi airstrikes in Yemen typically target homes, markets, factories, hospitals, cars, and more. Double taps are also common when additional strikes attack ambulances, reporters, and rescuers. It’s hard to believe attacks on homes and markets are an accident when they continue to attack rescue workers entering the scene.
In addition to military force, tens of thousands more have died as a result of the ongoing siege and blockade which restricts land, sea, and air imports, exports, and flow of movement. Nearly 8 million Yemenis face famine and another 17 million face food insecurity. Medical supplies are scarce which gives people with chronic conditions like diabetes or cancer a death sentence.
Several thousand have died due to a cholera outbreak which infected roughly one million since April of 2017.
In December, media pundits praised US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron for asking Riyadh to lift the blockade. The reality is that the US and France both support the Saudi war. The US helps enforce the blockade through naval support.
Watch Yemeni forces shoot down an F-15 fighter jet. Video courtesy al-Masirah.
Also published on Medium.