On January 10th, a Houthi drone attack on a military parade of the forces loyal to the Saudi-UAE-led coalition killed at least 6. The attack hit a military base in al-Anad district when a loud explosion rocked the area.
According to Sky News Arabia, citing local sources, the attack killed several officials from the coalition-backed government: the head of the General Staff, General Abdullah al-Nakhai, the governor of Lahj Ahmad Abdullah al-Turki, Brig. Gen. Thabet Jawas, and the spokesman of the fourth military district, Mohammed al-Naqib. Six soldiers were also killed.
Sky News Arabia also published a video immediately following the attack.
Yemeni journalist in Aden posts images purportedly showing today's Houthi drone strike attack on a coalition military parade https://t.co/wtkHKODQ7n
— Raf Sanchez (@rafsanchez) January 10, 2019
Pro-Houthi TV channel al-Masirah said the attack was carried out byd wounded.” a drone that targeted “invaders and mercenaries” at Al-Anad Air Base in the southern province of Lahj, leaving “dozens of dead and injured”.
According to Sky News Arabia, Nabil al-Quaiti, from inside the military base of Anad, said an unmanned aircraft appeared on the platform where senior officers were sitting at about 9:30 local time and exploded over it.
Al-Quaiti said in a telephone interview with Sky News Arabia that the plane exploded about 300 meters from the scene of the military parade, and that the time between hearing the sound and explosion did not exceed 7 seconds.
He noted that the aircraft was traveling at a low altitude, apparently appeared to be possible to detect and avoid anti-aircraft systems that are spread over the mountains surrounding the military base.
It is yet unclear if any military officials from Saudi Arabia or the UAE were present at the military parade. The Saudi-UAE-led coalition started the intervention in Yemen in 2015 and have fought the Houthi since.
Despite reported progress in the UN-brokered peace talks in December 2018, it appears the conflict is far from being resolved. During the talks, Houthis and the Saudi-backed government agreed to a ceasefire in the strategic port city of al-Hudaydah and to withdraw forces.
The Houthis said in November they were halting drone and missile attacks in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their Yemeni allies, but tensions have risen recently over how to implement a UN-sponsored peace deal.
Confrontations between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition. According to a report by Sky News Arabia, forces of the coalition-backed government assumed control of strategic sites in the area of Al-Shuraijah and Qubaita north of Lahj province.
Government forces continued their advance towards Jabal al-Qaher, which overlooks the Al-Rahda-Aden line, after regaining control of Jabal Khallala, southeast of Al-Rahedah, in the province of Taiz, and a number of surrounding locations in the Qubaytah district north of Lahj.
It is possible that the drone attack on the military parade is a response to the Saudi-led coalition’s recent advances surrounding the Lahj province.