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Yemeni forces, allies shoot down Saudi-led surveillance drone in Najran

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 in the skies over the kingdom’s southern border region of Najran, in retaliation for the alliance’s military aggression against their conflict-stricken country.

The spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, wrote in a post published on his Twitter page that Yemeni forces and their allies shot down the drone over al-Sawh area of the region, situated 844 kilometers (524 miles) south of the capital Riyadh, on Tuesday morning.

He added that Yemeni army forces and Popular Committees fighters targeted the unmanned aerial vehicle with a proper missile as it was carrying out “reconnaissance and hostile acts” in the area.

The development came less than a week after Yemeni forces and their allies shot down a US-made and long-endurance ScanEagle drone as it was flying over the Yemeni-Saudi border.

Separately, Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi launched a salvo of artillery rounds and mortar shells at different areas in the Tuhayat and Hays districts of the strategic Yemeni western coastal province of Hudaydah.

There were, however, no immediate reports about the extent of damage caused and possible casualties.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past four and a half years.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.