Yemeni armed forces have unveiled four domestically-built long-range, surface-to-air missile defense systems, which could act as game changers and alter the course of battle in the face of the deadly campaign led by Saudi Arabia against Yemen.
The president of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Mahdi al-Mashat, who was speaking at a ceremony in the capital Sana’a on Sunday, identified the systems as Fater-1 (Innovator-1), Thaqib-1 (Piercer-1), Thaqib-2 and Thaqib-3.
The systems have entered service following successful tests, the official announced.
Yemeni Minister of Defense Major General Mohamed al-Atefy, Chairman of the General Staff Major General Mohamed al-Ghammari and Brigadier General Yahya Saree, the spokesman for the armed forces, were also in attendance during the event.
Mashat praised the efforts by the Yemeni Ministry of Defense as regards the development and modernization of the military systems in order to deter or, if need be, confront the enemy
On Saturday, Saree said the country’s air defense units had managed to thwart a Saudi-led airstrike against a strategic district east of the capital Sana’a.
On Tuesday, the spokesman for Yemen’s air force, Major General Abdullah al-Jafri, praised the recent interception and targeting of a Tornado multi-role combat aircraft of the Royal Saudi Air Force in the country’s northern province of Jawf.
He told Arabic-language Mirat al-Jazeera news website in an exclusive interview that the downing of the Tornado jet confirms beyond any doubt that 2020 will be the year of modern and advanced air defense systems that can track, damage or shoot down enemy aircraft.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing back to power the government of former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and crushing the 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 nearly five years.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have purchased billions of dollars’ worth of weapons from the United States, France and the United Kingdom in the war on Yemen.
The Saudi-led coalition has been widely criticized for the high civilian death toll from its bombing campaign. The alliance has carried out nearly 20,500 air raids in Yemen, according to the data collected by the Yemen Data Project.
The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.