Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the Saudi-led military coalition, as it was flying in the skies over a mountainous region in the country’s western coastal province of Hudaydah.
An unnamed Yemeni military source told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shot down the combat drone as it was on a mission over the mountainous Jabaliya area on Thursday evening.
Later in the day, Yemeni soldiers and fighters from Popular Committees targeted and destroyed a Saudi-led reconnaissance drone as it was flying in the skies west of al-Majazah area in Saudi Arabia’s southern border region of Asir.
UN envoy, Ansarullah chief hold talks ahead of peace talks
Meanwhile, the leader of the Houthi Ansarullah movement and United Nations Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths met in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, and discussed logistics ahead of peace talks in Sweden next month.
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi stressed the importance of credibility and the will of the Saudi-led military alliance to push for a political solution to the Yemeni conflict away from fallacies that it employed during the previous round of negotiations.
He added that people from all strata of the Yemeni society were suffering from the Saudi-led military aggression alongside the sea, land and air blockade on the Arab country.
The Ansarullah leader also praised positive initiatives and practical steps, which seek to ensure a political solution to the Yemeni conflict.
Houthi then demanded an immediate end to the Saudi-led aggression, the removal of economic sanctions, which have forced the Yemeni riyal to plunge drastically against foreign currencies, and the ease of humanitarian aid deliveries.
Earlier this week, the administration of Saudi-backed former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur announced that it would take part in the proposed peace talks in Sweden next month, hours after the chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, said Ansarullah fighters were halting their retaliatory attacks as a goodwill measure to speed up “peace” process.
Save the Children says for every child killed by bombs and bullets, dozens are starving to death amid the brutal war and blockade led by Saudi Arabia.
Griffiths says that he has received “firm assurances” that the warring Yemeni parties would attend talks in the Swedish city of Stockholm.
Britain has presented a draft UN Security Council resolution on Yemen, and called on parties involved in Yemen’s crisis to restart peace negotiations.
“The conflict in Yemen can only be resolved though an inclusive political process,” the draft resolution said.
The draft sets a two-week deadline for warring Yemeni parties to remove all barriers to humanitarian aid, to halt attacks on civilian areas and allow unhindered access to the strategic port city of Hudaydah.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
A number of Western countries, the US and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.