SANA’A (Dispatches) – 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 over an area in the kingdom’s southwestern border region of Najran.
Spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree said Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shot down the spy drone as it was on a reconnaissance mission over the region, situated 844 kilometers (524 miles) south of the capital Riyadh, with a surface-to-air missile on Thursday.
He stressed that the specifications of the aircraft and details of the operation will be published later.
In another development, the United States is imposing sanctions on two Yemeni military officials, Reuters reported the U.S. special envoy on Yemen saying.
Tim Lenderking said the United States would impose sanctions on the head of the general staff leading the Yemeni forces in Ma’rib, Mohamad Abdulkarim Al-Gamali, and on another prominent leader of armed forces assigned to advance on Ma’rib, Yousuf Al-Madani.
Yemeni forces have been fighting against Saudi forces and mercenaries to liberate the strategic region of Ma’rib.
Saudi Arabia, backed by the U.S. and other regional allies, launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s government back to power and crushing resistance forces.
Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.
Meanwhile, a group of Democratic senators have called on U.S. President Joe Biden to take “immediate and decisive action” to pressure Saudi Arabia into the removal of the crippling blockade against Yemen.
The senators expressed concerns that restrictions on the import of food, medicine and other crucial supplies are exacerbating one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, and said it was time Saudi Arabia faced serious consequences for its practices in the war-torn country.
“Immediate and decisive action must be taken… The United States has diplomatic and economic leverage to compel Saudi Arabia to end its callous blockade of Yemen and we must use it before more lives are needlessly lost,” the senators said in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.