Yemeni air defense units have thwarted a Saudi airstrike against strategic and residential areas in the central province of Ma’rib, says the spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree.
Saree said in a post published on his official Twitter page on Sunday that a squadron of Saudi-led warplanes sought to bombard areas in Sirwah district at 10:03 p.m. local time (1903 GMT) the previous day, when the domestically built, long-range Fater-1 (Innovator-1) surface-to-air missile defense system intercepted the jets and forced them off Yemeni airspace.
The high-ranking Yemeni military official said the aircraft left the area without carrying out any act of aggression.
Less than a week ago, the Fater-1 missile defense system foiled an airstrike by a squadron of Saudi-led warplanes against areas in the same district.
Yemeni armed forces unveiled Fater-1 along with other domestically-built long-range, surface-to-air missile defense systems on February 23.
Minister of Defense Major General Mohamed al-Atefy, Chairman of the General Staff Major General Mohamed al-Ghammari and Brigadier General Saree were in attendance during the event.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing back to power a former Riyadh-backed government 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 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 more than 20,650 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.