Sana’a (GPA) – Yes, you read that headline correctly. Yemen’s Air Force unveiled new domestic defense capabilities today by launching drone strikes on various locations inside Saudi Arabia. Yemen’s Missile Force followed the airstrikes with a large-scale ballistic missile attack on various high-value targets inside Saudi territory.
Yemen Drone Strikes and Ballistic Missile Attacks
The Yemen drone strikes targeted two locations inside Saudi territory: an airport in Asir and Aramco in Jizan.
The drones, called Qasif 1, are about eight feet in length and have a wingspan of nearly 10 feet. They can fly for two hours and carry a maximum warhead of 66 pounds.
Following the airstrikes, Yemen’s Missile Force launched a large-scale ballistic missile attack on various targets inside Saudi Arabia. Yemeni forces used long-range Burkan H2 missiles to target the Saudi Defense Ministry in Riyadh. Yemen’s Rocket Force also utilized the new short-range Badr 1 system to strike various other locations such as an Aramco facility in Najran and the King Abdullah Economic City.
President Saleh al-Sammad announced yesterday that Yemeni forces will now launch ballistic missile attacks every day while the U.S.-Saudi blockade and airstrikes continue. Yemeni Army spokesman, Brigadier-General Sharaf Ghalib Luqman reiterated President Saleh’s sentiment about daily ballistic missile attacks on Saudi economic targets. Brigader-General Luqman also said this next year holds a “major surprise” that will change everything.
Considering Yemen’s remarkable military defense advancements over the past few years, this “big surprise” could be anyone’s guess.
Photo Credit: كرار المؤيد & Ansarullah Media Center
Yemen’s Remarkable Domestic Capabilities in the Face of Saudi-U.S. Aggression
Last summer, President of Yemen’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee announced that Yemeni forces would consider all high-value economic targets inside Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as military targets. Al-Houthi made this decision following two-and-a-half years of continuous Saudi airstrikes on civilian targets and crippling blockade which threatens the lives of millions.
Until today, Yemeni forces were able to launch their retaliatory attacks using only ballistic missiles. Yemen’s new drone strike capability marks a potential game changer for the war.
It also marks yet another Saudi failure. Saudi Arabia launched their devastating war against Yemen in March of 2015 to reinstate their puppet government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush Yemen’s resistance movement: Ansarullah (known throughout Western media simply as “the Houthis”).
Not only has Saudi Arabia completely failed their objectives, but their entire war has completely backfired. Yemen’s resistance forces — which include Ansarullah and allied groups — can now produce long and short-range ballistic missiles, naval missiles, and are in full control of the country’s capital. Prior to the war, Yemen was dependent on other countries like the United States for foreign military aid.
Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes frequently target civilian areas killing dozens on nearly a daily basis. Just today, Saudi air raids targeted a home in Yemen’s Saada province killing an entire family of 14 including four children. U.S.-backed Saudi airstrikes in Yemen’s Taiz province killed another family of 12 just days prior. Last week, airstrikes struck a refugee camp in Yemen leaving piles of children in their wake — seven children died and many more sustained injuries.
The Devastating Siege of Yemen
The Saudi siege of Yemen purposely restricts all imports, exports, and the flow of movement. 22 Yemenis currently either face direct famine or food insecurity due to the three-year land, sea, and air blockade. Medical supplies are scarce — pregnant women and patients with cancer, kidney disease, and diabetes are particularly vulnerable.
This dire situation has also created a cholera epidemic completely unprecedented in modern times: one million became infected last year and several thousand died. Cholera is an extremely fatal — yet very preventable — illness caused by drinking dirty water.
Saudi Arabia frequently targets water treatment facilities and cranes for unloading aid with airstrikes. This is part of the Saudi coalition’s plan to beat Yemen into submission. The United States and other Western allies provide military support while Washington provides additional intelligence and logistical support for selecting airstrike targets. The United States also provides naval support throughout the Red Sea to enforce the blockade.
Missiles arrive in Saudi Arabia:
Founder and editor of Geopolitics Alert, Randi Nord is a US-based geopolitical analyst and content strategist. She covers US imperialism with a special focus on Yemen, Iran, and Lebanon. Born in Detroit, Michigan, she started learning about the media’s pivotal role in selling “humanitarian” interventions as a teenager during the aftermath of 9/11 and Iraq war. Randi Nord has lived in the Empire’s neoliberal tropical paradise (Kingdom of Hawai’i) and Lebanon. She frequently participates in the UN Human Rights Council as a guest of NGOs speaking about Yemen.