RIYADH (Press TV) – Saudi Arabia has failed to repel Yemeni retaliatory drone strikes despite relying on systems such as the U.S.-supplied Patriot, a matter which has caused a slump in Saudi troop morale, according to a United Arab Emirates intelligence report.
The Middle East Eye (MEE) reported earlier this week that the UAE report revealed critical weaknesses in Saudi Arabia's ability to thwart the retaliatory attacks.
According to the MEE, the damning report, issued originally in May, had a limited publication intended for top Emirati leadership by the Emirates Policy Center (EPC), a think tank close to the Emirati government and its security services.
"Air defenses such as the Patriot are not capable of spotting these drones because the systems are designed to intercept long and medium range Scud missiles,” the report wrote.
The intelligence assessment highlighted an instance where Saudi Arabia's southwestern Najran airport, which is used in Riyadh's operations against Yemen, was also hit by Yemeni drones despite the deployment of a Patriot battery.
Riyadh and a number of its regional allies, most notably Abu Dhabi, launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Resistance by Yemen’s armed forces, led by the Ansarullah, however, has pushed the Saudi war to a stalemate, with Yemeni forces increasingly using sophisticated weaponry in retaliatory attacks against the Saudi-led coalition.
Referring possibly to a deadly Yemeni drone attack on a large air base occupied by Saudi mercenaries in the southwestern Lahij province in January, the EPC report highlighted that the Saudi failure to thwart such attacks came despite the Yemeni drones’ simple and rudimentary design.
"The attack on the Lahij Military Base demonstrates a weakness in Saudi air defenses and the lack of capacity in electronic war if we take into account that these drones are basic and are not launched on tarmac,” it wrote.
The EPC reported that there had been as much as 155 drone Yemeni attacks against Saudi targets between January and May, a figure much higher than previously admitted.
Saudi attempts to destroy the drones have also failed, with the report noting that Riyadh has launched numerous airstrikes on caves allegedly used to store the drones, without any success.