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Yemeni forces intercept, shoot down Saudi reconnaissance drone in Shabwah

Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters, have intercepted and shot down a spying Saudi unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as it was flying in the skies over Yemen’s southern oil-producing province of Shabwah.

Spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, said in a tweet that Yemeni air defense forces targeted the Chinese-made CH-4 combat drone with a surface-to-air missile as it was carrying out hostile acts over the Usaylan district late on Monday.

The CH-4 drone has a range of 3,500 to 5,000 kilometers and a 30- to 40-hour endurance. It is capable of carrying six missiles and a payload of up to 250 to 345 kilograms.

The UAV can fire air-to-ground missiles from an altitude of 5,000 meters, enabling it to stay out of the effective range of most anti-aircraft guns.

In similar events, several CH-4 drones have been shot down by the Yemeni forces in recent months.

On Friday evening, Yemeni army forces and their allies shot down a US-built Boeing Insitu ScanEagle spy drone belonging to the Saudi-led war coalition as it was flying in the skies over the Sirwah district of Yemen’s central province of Ma’rib.

The Boeing Insitu ScanEagle is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude drone built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, and is used for reconnaissance activities.

Dozens of Saudi mercenaries killed in clashes near Ma’rib

Dozens of Saudi-backed militants loyal to former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi have been killed in fighting with Yemeni army troops and their allies near Ma’rib city.

Yemeni military sources, who preferred not to be named, told the Yemen News Portal website that Saudi mercenaries have suffered a humiliating defeat in the district of Wadi Ubaidah, located some 175 kilometers (109 miles) east of the capital Sana’a, as they were trying to stave off a Yemeni army attack.

The sources added that at least 41 Saudi-sponsored pro-Hadi militants, including several high-ranking commanders, lost their lives as a result.

The development came on the same day that Yemen’s al-Khabar al-Yemeni news website, citing informed sources speaking on condition of anonymity, reported that Major General Nasser al-Zubiani, who headed military operations for pro-Hadi forces, died while leading battles against Yemeni soldiers and fighters from the Popular Committees in the Balaq mountain range, south of Ma’rib city.

Saudi Arabia, backed by the United States and regional allies, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah resistance movement.

The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases there.

Despite heavily-armed Saudi Arabia’s incessant bombardment of the impoverished country, the Yemeni armed forces and the Popular Committees have grown steadily in strength against the Saudi invaders and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

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