MA’RIB (Dispatches) – Yemeni army and popular forces launched a fierce attack on Saudi-backed militant and former regime forces to take back the key city of Ma’rib, military and medical sources said Monday.
A volley of air strikes from the Saudi-led coalition targeted the Sana’a-based government forces, who have stepped up their attacks on the former regime’s last northern stronghold.
Local sources said the military aircraft launched 24 raids against Harib al-Qaramish and al-Jubah districts.
Saudi-led fighters also carried out six attacks against Sirwah district.
The director general of Sirwah district said the Saudi-led coalition of aggression has conducted more than 30,000 air raids against the area, and caused extensive damage to infrastructure as well as public and private properties there.
Sheikh Mari al-‘Ameri told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that Saudi-led warplanes have destroyed more than 500 homes, over 22 schools, four medical facilities, and more than 12 mosques.
Hundreds of militants have died this month after the army forces renewed their campaign for the capital city of oil-rich Ma’rib province.
Meanwhile, Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from the Popular Committees, intercepted and targeted another U.S.-built Boeing Insitu ScanEagle spy drone belonging to the Saudi-led military coalition as it was flying in the skies over the country’s central province of Ma’rib.
The spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, said in a post published on his Twitter page on Monday that Yemeni air defense units shot down the unmanned aerial vehicle as it was carrying out hostile acts in the skies of Medghal district.
The Boeing Insitu ScanEagle is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, and is used for reconnaissance.
In a separate development, Yemeni authorities say they have identified a Russian individual, who is allegedly involved in militant activities alongside forces belonging to Saudi-led coalition that has waged years-long devastating war against the impoverished Arab country.
Citing security sources, Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported on Sunday that a Russian individual, who is purportedly a member of the Al-Qaeda Takfiri terrorist group, was identified when Yemeni army forces managed to liberate al-Somea town in the south-central province of al-Bayda.